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APR 29 1914 

BX 9225 .M17 A32 1851 
M'Cheyne, Robert Murray, 

The life and remains 

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APR 29 19L 














No. 285 BROADWAY. 



In this Memoir, very much has been preserved of Mr 
M'Cheyne's own words, as well as feelings. Still there is a de- 
fect quite apparent. All who knew him not only saw in him a 
burning and a shining light, but felt also the breathing of the 
hidden life of God ; and there is no narrative that can fully ex- 
press this peculiarity of the living man. Yet, nevertheless, as I 
have had the prayers of many, and have myself throughout 
asked the Lord to guide me with his eye, I believe he will not 
lei this record of his servant go forth unblessed. The Portrait 
is not an exact likeness : it was executed after his death from a 
very imperfect sketch — but it will recall his form to all who 
knew him. It is now a year since he rested from his labors ; 
and this Memoir is a record of some of those works that fol- 
low him. 

Ooi tcK. March 25, 1844. 



Chap. I. His Youth and Pbkparation for tuk MijasxRT, 

II Ills Labors in tue Vineyard before Ordination, 

III First Ybaks of Labor in Dundee, . . . 

IV. Ills Mission to Palestine And the Jews, 

V Days of Revival, ... , . 

VI. The Latter Days or his Ministry, 


1. To Rev. R. SLicDONALD, (luring illness, before going to Palestine, 

2. .. Mrs. Thain, during the continuance of the same, 

3. .. Do. before going on the Mission, 

4. .. Mies Collier. How his silence may be useful, 

5. ., Rev. W. C. Bcrns, on his coming to supply his place, 

6. Pastoral Letters, No. 1. View of what has happened, 

7. .. .. 2. Past times of privilege, . 

8. . . . . 3. IIow God works by Providence, 

9. .. ., 4. God the answerer of prayer, 

10. ., .. 5. Returns made to God, Isaiah v., 

11. .. .. 6. Self-devotedness, 

12. .. .. 7. Une.xpected calls, 

13. . . . . 8. Warnings to the unsaved, . 

14. .. .. 9. From Leghorn. Travels, . 

15. .. .. 10. From Breslaw. Travels, . 

16. To Rev. J. Roxburgh. From Jerusalem— Account of the Land 

17. .. Rev. R. Macdonald. From Carniel. Do., . 

18. .. Rev. \V. C. Burns. Inquiries about the Revival, 

19. .. Miss Collier. Riches of Christ, 

20. .. Mr. J. T. Just. Prayer-meetings, 

21. .. A Parishioner in sickness. Troubles sanctify, 
22 .. A Soul whom he never saw. Looking to Jesus, 

23. .. Rev. W. C. Burns. A Minister's Afflictions, 

24. .. Rev. Dan. Edwajids. 'What a Missionary must seek, 

25. . . Do. Holiness and success, , 

26. • • Mrs. Thain WTien invited to rest a while, . 


28. . . AS. L. The person and of Jesus, 

29. . . Mr. W. C. Burn8. Awakenings— Personal holiness, 

30. . . Rev. P. L JIiller. On beginning his Slinistry, 

31. . • Mr. Q. Shaw. The Jews— Studies, 
82. . . His Saubath School Teachers, 
33. • ■ Blairgowrie Society. Advices, 
84. . . A Soul seekixq Jesus, No. 1. Corruption, 

35. .. .. .. ,. 2. The Righteousness of Christ, 

36. .. ,. .. .. 3. Joy in believing, 

37. .. .. ., .. 4. Christ is precious, 

38. .. .. .. .. 5. Found in Christ, 

39. . . . . . . . . 6. Leaning on Jesus, 

40. .. The Mbmbebs of a Prayee-Mketino. The Sower, 

41. ., M.S. Trying dispensations, 

42. .. E. R. Corruptions drive us to Christ, . 

43. .. J. T. A boy anxious about his soul, . 

44. ., A.T. On the death of his brother, 
43. .. Rev. D. Campbell. Advice to a brother In sickness, 
40. .. Rev. Hor. BoNAB. Breathings after holiness, 

47. .. Rev. R. Macdonald. Words of counsel, 

48. .. The Teacher ok a Female School. Do what you can, 

49. .. O.s-E Awakened fbo.m Sleep. Call to Jesus, 

50. .. A Soul iNQuiRiNO afteh Jesus. What Is in Christ, 

51. .. Do. Trials— Atonement in Christ, 

52. .. One who had begun to see Jesus, 

53. .. Rev. P. L. MiLL«a A Vftti to the weary, 




54. To Rev. John Milne. Another word to a brother, 
55 .. Do. Breathings of heart, 

56. .. One who had lately taken iip the Cross, 

57. .. One of his Flock deserted in Sotl, 

58. .. Rev. Alex. Gatherer. Visit to the North, . 

59. .. One who had suffered Bereavement. Sorrow of the world, 

60. .. Another to one bereaved. Christ the same, 

61. . . One complaining of Heart Plaques. Passing to glcry, . 

Isaiah .\lviii. 18, 
Romans iv. 4-8, 
Proverbs xiv. 9, 
1 John iv. 7-13, 
Zechariah xii. 10, . 
Jeremiah xxxiii. 16, 
Revelation xx. 11-15, 
Lebanon — its Scenery and Allusions, 
Notes on the Types found in the Tabernacle, 


Evidence on Revivals, .... 

Another Lily Gathered — Conversion of James Laino, 

This do in Remembrance of Me, 

The Acceptable Yeak of the Lord, 

Reasons why Children should fly to Christ, 

Why is God a Stranger in the Land'? 

I Love the Lord's Day, 

Letter on the Sabbath Railways, 

Letter on Communion with Bkethren op other 

To the Lambs of the Flock, 

Daily Bread, ..... 

Songs of Zion. 

1. The Barren Fig Tree, . 

2. Jehovah Tsidkenu, 

3. They Sing the Song of Moses, . 

4. On Mungo Park's finding a Tuft of Moss, 

5. I am Debtor, .... 

6. Children called to Christ, 

7. Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet, 

8. The Fountain of Siloam, 

9. The Sea of Galilee, 

10. To Yonder Side, .... 

11. On the Mediterranean Sea, at Acre, 

12. The Child coming to Jesus, 

13. Oil in the Lamp, . . . 

14. On J. T., a Believing Boy, 
Concluding Memobials, 



Lecture I. 

The Ten 


Part 1, . 



.. in. 


.. IV. 




Part 1, 





.. VII. 



.. VIII. 



.. IX. 






.. XII. 


.. XIII. 




.. XIV. 

Folly's House, . 

.. XV. 

The Good Shepherd, 

.. XVI. 

Christ the Door, 

.. XVIL 

I AM thk 

Good SHirnERD, 



L«TTBR I. To ms Family,— London, 29<h March, 1839, . 

II. To rut Sasjk, — London, 9th April, 

III. To Till .Samk, — Bonlopne, ]2ih .\pril, 

IV. To HIS MoTiiKR, — Lyons, 2()ih April, 
V. To HIS ^^IsTER, — Cenoa, 24th .April, 

VI. To HIS Fatiikr,— Malta, 5th Miiy, 

VII. To THE Kev. R. S. Candlish,— Malta, 0th May, . 
VIII. To HIS Mother,— Alexandria, 15th May, 

IX. To HIS Family, — Mount Carinel, 26th June, . 

X. To THE Rev. R. S. Casdlish,— Mount Cannel, 27th Jane, 

XI. To THE,— Beyrout, 5th July, 

XII. To HIS Sister, — Beyrout, 8th July, 

XIII. To Mrs. Coutts, — Beyrout, 2ind July, 

XIV. To HIS Sister,— Beyrout, 22nd July, . 
XV. To the Rev. A. N. So.mervillk, — Beyrout, 23rd July, 

XVI. To HIS Family, — Bouja, 22nd August, . 

XVII. To THE Rev. A. N. Somervili.e, — Bouja, 22nd August, 

. XVIII. To HIS Sister,— Galatz, 1st September, 

XIX. To HIS FatheiAnd Mother, — Bucharest, 10th September, 

XX To the Rev. R. S. Candlish,- Bossanze, 26th September, 

XXI. To his Sister,— Tarnapol, 1st October, 

XXII. To HIS Father and Mother, — Breslau, 17th October, 

XXIII. To the Same,- London, 6th November, 

XXIV. To the Rev. R. S. Candlish,— London, 11th November, 
XXV. To HIS Father and Mother, — Dundee, 26th November, 



M E M I E . 


" Many shall rejoice at his birth ; for he shall be great in the sigh^^* the Lord."— Luk» i. 14. 

In the midst of the restless activity of such a day as ours, it 
will be felt by ministers of Christ to be useful, in no common de- 
gree, to trace the steps of one who but lately left us, and who, 
during the last years of his short life, walked calmly in almost un- 
broken fellowship with the Father and the Son. 

The date of his birth was May 21, 1813. About that time, as 
is now evident to us who can look back on the past, the Great 
Head had a purpose of blessing for the Church of Scotland. 
Eminent men of God appeared to plead the cause of Christ. The 
Cross was lifted up boldly in the midst of Church Courts which 
had long been ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. More spiritu- 
ality and a deeper seriousness began a few years onward to pre- 
vail among the youth of our Divinity Halls. In the midst of such 
events, whereby the Lord was secretly preparing a rich blessing 
for souls in all our borders, the subject of this Memoir was born. 
" Many were to rejoice at his birth ;" for he was one of the bless- 
ings which were beginning to be dropt down upon Scotland, 
though none then knew that one was born whom hundreds would 
look up to as their spiritual father. 

The place of his birth was Edinburgh, where his parents re- 
sided. He was the youngest child of the family, and was called 
Robert Murray, after the name of some of his kindred. 

From his infancy his sweet and affectionate temper was re- 
marked by all who knew him. His mind was quick in his attain- 
ments ; he was easily taught the common lessons of youth, and 
some of his peculiar endowments began early to appear. At the 
age of four, while recovering from some illness, he selected as his 
recreation the study of the Greek alphabet, and was able to name 
all the letters, and write them in a rude way upon a slate. A 
year after he made rapid progress in the English class, and at an 
early period became somewhat eminent among his school-fellows 


for his melodious voice and powers of recitation. There were at 
that time catechetical exercises held in the Tron Church, in the 
interval between sermons ; and some friends remember the inter- 
est often excited in the hearers by his correct and sweet recita- 
tion of the Psalms and passages of Scripture. But as yet he 
knew not the Lord, he lived to himself, " having no hope and 
■without God in the world." Eph. ii, 12. 

In October 1821, he entered the High School, where he con- 
tinued iiis literary studies during the usual period of six years. 
He maintained a high place in his classes ; and, in the Rector's 
Class, distinguished himself by eminence in geography and reci- 
tation. It was during the last year of his attendance at the High 
School that he first ventured on poetical composition, the subject 
being, " Greece, but living Greece no more." The lines are cha- 
racterized chiefly by enthusiasm for liberty and Grecian heroism, 
for in these days Jiis soul had never soared to a higher region. 
His companions speak of him as one who had even then peculiar- 
ities that drew attention : — of a light, tall form — full of elasticity 
and vigor — ambitious, yet noble in his dispositions, disdaining 
every thing like meanness or deceit. Some would have been apt 
to regard him as exhibiting many traits of a Christian character; 
but his susceptible mind had not, at that time, a relish for any 
higher joy than the refined gaieties of society, and for such plea- 
sures as the song and the dance could yield. He himself re- 
garded these as days of ungodliness — days wherein he cherished 
a pure morality, but lived in heart a Pharisee. I have heard him 
say that there was a correctness and propriety in his demeanor at 
times of devotion, and in public worship, which some, who knew 
not his heart, were ready to put to the account of real feeling. 
And this experience of his own heart made him look with jealousy 
on the mere outward signs of devotion, in dealing with souls. He 
had learnt in his own case how much a soul, unawakened to a 
sense of guilt, may have satisfaction in performing, from the jiroud 
consciousness of integrity towards man, and a sentimental devo- 
tedness of mind that chastens the feelings without changing the 

He had great delight in rural scenery. Most of his summer 
vacations used to be spent in Dumfriesshire, and his friends in the 
parish of Ruthwell and its vicinity retain a vivid remembrance of 
his youthful days. His poetic temperament led him to visit what- 
ever scenes were fitted to stir the soul. At all periods of his life, 
also, he had a love of enterprize. During the summer months 
he occasionally made excursions with his brother, or some inti- 
mate friend, to visit the lakes and hills of our Highlands, cherish- 
ing thereby, unawares, a fondness for travel, that was most use- 
ful to him in after days. In one of these excursions a somewhat 
romantic occurrence befell the travellers, such as we might rather 
have expected to meet with in the records of his Eastern journev 


He and his friend had set out on foot to explore, at their leisure, 
Dunkeld and the highlands in its vicinity. They spent a day at 
Dunkeld, and about sunset set out again with the view of cross- 
ing the hills to Strathardle. A dense mist spread over the hills 
soon after they began to climb. They pressed on, but lost the 
track that might have guided them safely to the glen. They 
knew not how to direct their steps to any dwelling. Night came 
on, and they had no resource but to couch among the heath, with 
no' other covering than the clothes they wore. They felt hungry 
and cold ; and, awaking at midnight, the awful stillness of the 
lonely mountains spread 'a strange fear over them. But, drawing 
close" togethel-, they again lay down to rest, and slept soundly till 
the cry of some wild birds and the morning dawn aroused them. 

Entering the Edinburgh University in November, 1827, he 
gained some prize in all the various classes he attended. In 
private he studied the modern languages ; and gymnastic exer- 
cises at that time gave him unbounded delight. He used his pen- 
cil with much success, and then it was that his hand was prepared 
for sketching the scenes of the Holy Land. He had a very con- 
siderable knowledge of music, and himself sang correctly and 
beautifully. This, too, was a gift which was used to the glory of 
the Lord 'in after days — wonderfully enlivening his secret devo- 
tions, and enabling him to lead the song of praise in the congrega- 
tion wherever occasion required. Poetry also was a never-fail- 
ino- recreation ; and his taste in this department drew the attention 
of'Trofessor Wilson, who adjudged him the prize in the Moral Phi- 
losophy class for a poem, '• On the Covenanters." 

In the winter of 1831, he commenced his studies in the Divinity 
Hall, under Dr. Chalmers ; and the study of Church History under 
Dr. Welsh. It may be naturally asked, What led him to \yish to 
preach salvation to his fellow-sinners ? Could he say, like Robert 
Bruce, " 1 was first called to my grace, before I obeyed my calling 
.to the ministry T Few questions are more interesting than this; 
and our answer to it \\\\\ open up some of the wonderful ways of 
Him " whose path is in the great waters, and whose footsteps are 
not known ;" Psalm Ixxvii. 19 : for the same event that awakened 
his soul to a true sense of sin and misery, led him to the ministry. 

During his attendance at the literary and philosophical classes 
he felt occasional impressions, none of them perhaps of much 
depth. There can be' no doubt that he himself looked upon the 
death of his eldest brother, David, as the event which awoke him 
from the sleep of nature, and brought in the first beam of Divine 
light into his soul. By that providence the Lord was calling one 
soul to enjoy the treasures of grace, while he took the other into 
the possession of glory. 

In this brother, who was his senior by eight or nine years, the ) 
light of Divine grace shone before men with rare and solemn 
loveliness. His classical attainments were very high ; and, after 


the usual preliminary studies, he had been admitted Writer to the 
Signet. One distinguishing qurdity of his character was his sen- 
sitive truthruiness. In a moment would the shadow flit across his 
brow, if any incident were related wherein there was the slightest 
exaggeration ; or even when nothing but truth was spoken, if only 
the deliverer seemed to take up a false or exaggerated view. He 
must not merely speak the whole truth himself, but he must have 
the iiearer also to apprehend the whole truth. He spent much 
of his leisure hours in attending to the younger memlters of the 
family. Tender and affectionate, his grieved look when they 
vexed him by resisting his counsels, had (it is said) something in 
it so persuasive that it never failed in the end to prevail on those 
with whom his words had not succeeded. His youngest brother, 
at a time when he lived according to the course of this world, 
was the subject of many of his fervent prayers. But a deep 
melancholy, in a great degree the effect of bodily ailments, set- 
tled down on David's soul. Many weary months did he spend in 
awful gloom, till the trouble of his soul wasted away his body; 
but the light broke in before his death ; joy, from the face of a 
fully reconciled Father above, lighted up his face ; and the peace 
of his last da\s was the sweet consolation left to his afllicted 
friends, when, 8th July, 1831, he fell asleep in Jesus. 

The death of this brother, with all its circumstances, was used 
by the Holy Spirit to produce a deep impression on Robert's soul. 
In many respects — even in the gifts of a poetic mind — there had 
been a congeniality between him and David. The vivacity of 
Robert's ever active and lively mind was the chief point of differ- 
ence. This vivacity admirably fitted him for public life; it 
needed only to be chastened and solemnized, and the event that 
had now occurred wrought this effect. A few months before, 
the happy family circle had been broken up by the departure of 
the second brother for India, in the Bengal Medical Service ; but 
when, in the course of the summer, David was removed from 
them for ever, there were impressions left such as could never be 
effaced, at least from the mind of Robert. Naturally of an in- 
tensely affectionate disposition, this stroke moved his whole soul, 
his quiet hours seem to have been often spent in thoughts of him 
who was now gone to glory. There are some lines remaining in 
which his poetic mind has most touchingly, and with uncommon 
vigor, painted him whom he had lost — lines all the more interest- 
ing, because the delineation of character and form which they 
contain, cannot fail to call up to those who knew him the image 
of the author nimself. Sometime after his brother's death, he 
had tried to preserve the features of his well-remembered form, 
by attempting a portrait from memory ; but throwing aside the 
pencil in despair, he took up the pen and poured out the iulness 
©f his heart. 



Alas ! not perfect yet — another touch, 

And still another ! and another still, 

Till those dull lips breathe life, and yonder eye 

Lose its lack lustre hue, and be lit up 

With the warm glance of living feeling. No — 

It never can be ! Ah, poor, powerless art ! 

Most vaunting, yet most impotent, thou seek'st 

To trace the thousand, thousand shades and lights 

That glowed conspicuous on the blessed face 

Of him thou fain would'st imitate— to bind 

Down to the fragile canvass the wild play 

Of thought and mild affection, which were wont 

To dwell in the serious eye, and play around 

The placid mouth. Thou seek'st to give again 

That which the burning soul, inhabiting 

Its clay-built tenement, alone can give — 

To leave on cold dead matter the impress 

Of living mind— to bid a line, a shade. 

Speak forth not words, but the soft intercourse 

Which the immortal spirit, while on earth 
i It tabernacles, breathes from every pore — 

Thoughts not converted into words, and hopes, 

And fears, and hidden joys, and griefs, unborn 

Into the world of sound, but beaming forth 
In that expression which no words, or work 
Of cunning artist, can express. In vain, 
Alas ! in vain I 

Come hither, Painter ; come 
Take up once more thine instruments— thy brush 
And palette— if thy haughty art be. as thou say-3tu 
Omnipotent, and if thy hand can dare 
To wield creative power. Renew thy toil. 
And let my memory, vivified by love. 
Which Death's cold separation has but warmed, 
And rendered sacred, dictate to thy skill, 
And guide thy pencil. From the jetty hair 
Take oflf that gaudy lustre that but mocks 
The true original ; and let the dry, 
Soft, gently turning locks, appear instead. 
What though to fashion's garish eye they seem 
Untutored and ungainly— still to me. 
Than folly's foppish head-gear, lovelier far 
Are they, because bespeaking mental toil. 
Labor assiduous, through the golden days 
(Golden if so improved) of guileless youth. 
Unwearied mining in the precious stores 
Of classic lore— and better, nobler still. 
In God's own holy writ. And scatter here 
And there a thread of grey, to mark the grief 
That prematurely checked the bounding flow 
Of the warm current in his veins, and shed 
An early twilight o'er so bright a dawn. 
No wrinkle sits upon that brow !— and thus 
It ever was. The angry strife and cares 
Of avaricious miser did not leave v 

Their base memorial on so fair a page. 
The eye brows next draw closer down, and throw 
A softening shade o'er the mild orbs below. 
Let the full eye-lid, drooping, half conceal 
The back-retiring eye ; and point to earth 



The long brown lashes that bespeak a sonl 
Like his who said, " I am not worthy, Lord P 
From underneath these lowly turning lids. 
Let not shine forth the gaily sparkling light 
Which dazzles oft and oft deceives— nor yet 
The dull unmeaning lustre that can gaze 
Alike on all the world. But paint an eye 
In whose half-hidden, steady light I read 
A truth-enquiring mind ; a fancy, too, 
That could array in sweet poetic garb 
The truth he found ; while on his artless harp 
He touched the gentlest feelings, which the blaze 
Of winters hearth warms in the homely heart. 
And oh ! recall the look of faith sincere, 
With which that eye would scrutinize the page 
That tells us of offended God appeased 
By awful sacrifice upon the cross 
Of Calvary — that bids us leave a world 
Immersed in darkness and in death, and seek 
A better country. Ah ! how oft that eye 
Would turn on me with pity's tenderest look, 
And, only half upbraiding, bid me flee 
From the vain idols of my boyish heart ! 

It was about the same time, whilst still feeling the sadness of 
this bereavement, that he wrote the fragment entitled 


A grave I know 
Where earthly show 
Is not — a mound 
Whose gentle round 
Sustains the load 
5)f a fresh sod. 
Its shape is rude. 
And weeds intrude 
Their yellow flowers — 
In gayer bowers 
Unknown. The grass, 
A tufted mass, 
Is rank and strong — 
Unsmoothed and long. 
No rosebud there 
Embalms the air ; 
No lily chaste 
Adorns the waste, 
Nor daisy's head 
Bedecks the bed. 
No myrtles waj'e 
Above that grave ; 
Nor heathcr-bcU 
Is there to tell 
Of gentle friend 
Who sought to lend 
A sweeter sleep 
To him who deep 
Beneath the ground 
Repose has found. 
No stone of woe 
Is there to show 

The name, or tell 

How passing well 

He loved his God, 

And how he trod 

The humble road 

That leads through sorrow 

To a bright morrow. 

Unknown in life. 

And far from strife. 

He lived ; — and though 

The magic flow 

Of genius played 

Around his head ; 

And he could weave 

" The song at eve," 

And touch the heart, 

With gentlest art ; 

Or cares beguile. 

And draw the smile 

Of peace from those 

Who wept their woes ; — 

Yet when the love 

Of Christ above 

To guilty men 

Was shown him— then 

He left the joys 

Of worldly noise, 

And humbly laid 

His drooping head 

Upon the c oss; 

And thought the low 

Of all that earth 



Contained — of mirth, 
Of loves, and fame. 
And pleasures' name- 
No sacrifice 
To win the prize, 
Which Christ secured 
When he endured 
For us the load — 
The wrath of God ! 
With many a tear, 
And many a fear, 
With many a sigh 
And heart-wrung cry 
Of timid faith. 
He sought the breath : 
But which can give 
The power to live — 
Whose word alone 
Can melt the stone, 
Bid tumult cease, 
And all be peace ! 
He sought not now 
To wreath his brow 
With laurel bough. 
He sought no more 
To gather store 
Of earthly lore. 
Nor vainly strove 
To share the love 
Of heaven above, 
With aught below 
That earth can show. 
The smile forsook 
His cheek — his look 
Was cold and sad ; 
And even the glad 
Return of morn, 
When the ripe corn 
Waves o'er the plains, 
And simple swains 
With joy prepare 
The toil to share 
Of harvest, brought 
No lively thought 
To him. 

* * * * 
And spring adorns 
The sunny morns 
With opening flowers ; 
And beauty showers 
O'er lawn and mead ; 
Its virgin head 
The snow-drop steeps 
In dew, and peeps 

The crocus forth, 
Nor dreads the north- 
But even the spring 
No smile can bring 
To him, whose eye 
Sought in the sky 
For brighter scenes, 
Where intervenes 
No darkening cloud 
Of sin to shroud 
The gazer's view, 
Thus sadly flew 
The merry spring ; 
And gaily sing 
The birds their loves 
In summer groves. 
But not for him 
Their notes they trim. 
His ear is cold — 
His tale is told. 
Above his grave 
The grass may wave — 
* * * * 

The crowd pass by 
Without a sigh 
Above the spot. 
They knew him not — 
They could not know ; 
And eyen though, 
Why should they shed 
Above the dead 
Who slumbers here 
A single tear } 
I cannot weep, 
Though in my sleep 
I sometimes clasp. 
With love's fond grasp 
His gentle hand, 
And see him stand 
Beside my bed, 
And lean his head 
Upon my breast. 
And bid me rest 
Nor night nor day 
Till I can say 
That I have found 
The holy ground 
In which there lies 
The Pearl of Price- 
Till all the ties 
The soul that bind, 
And all the lies 
The soul that blind 
Be * * * 

. Nothing could more fully prove the deep impression which the 
event made than these verses. But it was not a transient regret, 
nor was it the *•' sorrow of the world." He was in his eighteenth 
year when his brother died : and if this was not the year of his 
new birth, at least it was the year when the first streaks of dawn 
appeared in his soul. From that day forward his friends observed 


a change. His poetry was pervaded with serious thought, and 
all his pursuits began to be followed cut in another spirit. He 
engaged in the labors of a Sabbath-school, and began to seek God 
to his soul, in the diligent reading of the Word, and attendance 
on a faithful ministry. 

How important this period of his life appeared in his own view, 
may be gathered from his allusions to it in latter days. A year 
after, he writes in his diary : " On this morning last year came 
the first overwhelming blow to my worldliness; how blessed to 
me, thou, O God, only knowest, who hast made it so." Every 
year he marked this day as one to be remembered, and occasion- 
ally its recollections seem to have come in like a flood. In a 
letter to a friend (8th July, 1842), upon a matter entirely local, he 
concludes by a postscript — " This day eleven years ago, my holy 
brother David entered into his rest, aged 26." And on that same 
day, writing a note to one of his flock in Dundee, (who had asked 
him to furnish a preface to a work printed 1140, '' Letters on 
Spiritual Subjects"), he commends the book, and adds — "Pray 
for me, that I may be made holier and wiser — less like myself, 
and more like my heavenly Master; that I may not regard my 
life, if so be I may finish my course with joy. This day eleven 
years ago, I lost my loved and loving brother, and began to seek 
a Brother who cannot die." 

It was to companions who could sympathize in his feelings, that 
he unbosomed himself At that period it was not common for 
inquiring souls to carry their case to their pastor. A conven- 
tional reserve upon these subjects prevailed even among lively 
believers. It almost seemed as if they were ashamed of the Son 
of Man. This reserve appeared to him very sinful ; and he felt 
it to be so great an evil, that, in after days,- he was careful to en- 
courage anxious souls to converse with him freely. The nature 
of his experience, however, we have some means of knowing. 
On one occasion, a few of us who had studied together were re- 
viewing the Lord's dealings with our souls, and how he had 
brought us to himself, all very nearly at the same time, though 
without any special instrumentality. He stated that there was 
nothing sudden in his case, and that he was led to Christ through 
deep and ever-abiding, but not awful or distracting convictions. 
In this we see the Lord's sovereignty. In bringing a soul to the 
Saviour, the Holy Spirit invariably leads it to very deep con- 
sciousness of sin ; but then he causes this consciousness of sin to 
be more distressing and intolerable to some than to others. But 
in one point does the experience of all believing sinners agree in 
this matter — viz. their soul presented to their view nothing but 
an abyss of sin, when the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, 

The Holy Spirit carried on his work in the subject of this 
Memoir, by continuing to deepen in him the conviction of his un- 


godliness, and the pollution of his whole nature. And all his life 
long, he viewed his original sin, not as an excuse for his actual 
sins, but as an aggravation of them all. In this view he was of 
the mind of David, taught by the unerring Spirit of Truth. See 
Psalm, li. 4, 5. 

At first the light dawned slowly ; so slowly, that, for a consid- 
erable time, he still relished an occasional plunge into scenes of 
gaiety. Even after entering the Divinity Hall, he could be per- 
suaded to indulge in lighter pursuits, at least during the two first 
years of his attendance ; but it was with growing alarm. When 
hurried away by such worldly joys, I find him writing thus : — 
"Sept. 14. — May there be few such records as this in my biogra- 
phy." Then, "Dec. 9. — A thorn in my side — much torment." 
As the unholiness of his pleasures became more apparent, he 
writes: — " March 10th, 1832 — I hope never to play cards again." 
" March 25th — Never visit on a Sunday evening again." " April 
10th — Absented myself from the dance ; upbraidings ill to bear. 
But I must try to bear the cross." It seems to be in reference to 
the receding tide, which thus for a season repeatedly drew him 
back to the world, that on July 8th, 1836, he records — "This 
morning five years ago, my dear brother David died, and my heart 
for the first time knew true bereavement. Truly it was all well. 
Let me be dumb, for thou didst it ; and it was good for me that 
I was afflicted. I know not that any providence was ever more 
abused by man than that was by me : and yet. Lord, what moun- 
tains thou comest over ! none was ever more blessed to me." To 
us who can look at the results, it appears probable that the Lord 
permitted him thus to try many broken cisterns, and to taste the 
wormwood of many earthly streams, in order that in after days, 
by the side of the fountain of living waters, he might point to the 
world he had for ever left, and testify the surpassing preciousness 
of what he had now found. 

Mr. Alexander Somerville (afterwards minister of Anderston 
Church, Glasgow), was his familiar friend and companion in the 
gay scenes of his youth. And he, too, about this time, having 
been brought to taste the powers of the world to come, they 
united their eflTorts for each others welfare. They met togethei 
for the study of the Bible, and used to exercise themselves in the 
Septuagint Greek and the Hebrew original. Bat oftener still 
they met for prayer and solemn converse ; and carrying on all 
their studies in the same spirit, watched each others steps in the 
narrow way. 

He thought himself much profited, at this period, by investi- 
gating the subject of Election and the Free Grace of God. But 
it was the reading of" The Sum of Saving Knowledge,'" generally 
appended to our Confession of Faith, that brought him to a clear 
understanding of the way of acceptance with God. Those who 
are acquainted with its admirable statements of truth, will see 


how well fitted it was to direct an inquiring soul. I find him some 
years afterwards recording: — "March 11th, 1834 — Read in the 
• Sum of Saving Knowledge,^ the work which I think first of all 
wrought a saving change in me. How gladly would I renew the 
reading of it, if that change might be carried on to perfection !" 
It will be observed that he never reckoned his soul saved, not- 
withstanding all his convictions and views of sin, until he really 
went into the Holiest of all on the warrant of the Redeemer's 
work ; for assuredly a sinner is still under wrath, until he has 
actually availed himself of the way to the Father opened up by 
Jesus. All his knowledge of his sinfulness, and all his sad feeling 
of his own need and danger, cannot place him one step farther off 
from the lake of fire. It is " he that comes to Christ" that is 

Before this period, he had received a bias towards the ministry 
from his brother David, who used to speak of the ministry as the 
most blessed work on earth, and often expressed the greatest de- 
light in the hope that his younger brother might one day become 
a minister of Christ. And now, with altered views — with an eye 
that could gaze on heaven and hell, and a heart that felt the love 
of a reconcil'ed God — -he sought to become a herald of salvation. 

He had begun to keep a register of his studies, and the manner 
in which his time slipt away, some months before his brother's 
death. For a considerable time this register contains almost no- 
thing but the bare incidents of the diary, and on Sabbaths the 
texts of the sermons he had heard. There is one gleam of seri- 
ous thought — but it is the only one — during that period. On 
occasion of Dr. Andrew Thomson's funeral, he records the deep 
and universal grief that pervaded the town, and then subjoins — 
" pleasing to see so much public feeling excited on the decease of 
so worthy a man. How much are the times changed within 
these eighteen centuries, since the time when Joseph besought 
the body in secret, and when he and Nicodemus were the only 
ones found to bear the body to the tomb."' 

It is in the end of the year that evidences of a change appear. 
From that period and ever onward his dry register of every-day 
incidents is varied with such passages as the following : — 

" November 12. — Reading H. Martyn's Memoirs. Would I 
could imitate him, giving up fiither, mother, country, house, 
health, life, all — for Christ. And yet, what hinders ? Lord 
puriiV me, and give me strength to dedicate myself, my all, to 
thee !" 

"December 4. — Reading Leigh Richmond's Life. ' Pamiten- 
tia profunda, non sine lacrymis. Nunquam me ipsum, tarn vi- 
lem, tam inutilem, tam pauperim. et prff!cipue tam ingratum, 
adhuc vidi. Sint lacrymai dedicationis mea; pignora !' " [" Deep 
penitence, not unmixed with tears. I never belbre saw myself so 
vile, so useless, so poor, and, above all, so ungrateful. May these 


tears be the pledges of my self-dedication."] There is frequently 
at this period a sentence in Latin occurring like the above in the 
midst of other matter, apparently with the view of giving freer 
expression to his feelings regarding himself" 

" Dec. 9. — Heard a street-preacher : foreign voice. Seems 
really in earnest. He quoted the striking passage, ' The spirit 
and the bride say, come, and let him that heareth say, come. 
From this he seems to derive his authority. Let me learn from 
this man to be in earnest for the truth, and to despise the scoffing 
of the world." 

Dec. 18. — After spending an evening too lightly, he writes — 
" My heart must break off from all these things. What right 
have I to steal and abuse my Master's time ? ' Redeem it,' he is 
crying to me." 

" Dec. 25. — My mind not yet calmly fixed on the Rock of 

'• January 12, 1832. — Cor non pacem habet. Quare ? Pecca- 
tum apud fores manet." [•' My heart has not peace. Why ? Sin 
lieth at my door."J 

"Jan. 25. — A lovely day. Eighty-four cases of cholera at 
Musselburgh. How it ci'eeps nearer and nearer, like a snake. 
Who will be the first victim here ? Let thine everlasting arms 
be around us, and we shall be safe." 

" Jan. 29. Sabbath. — Afternoon heard Mr. Bruce (then minister 
of the New North Church, Edinburgh), on Malachi i. 1-6. It 
constitutes the very gravamen of the charge against the unre- 
newed man, that he has affection for his earthly parent, and 
reverence for his earthly master ; but none for God ! Most noble 

" Feb. 2. — Not a trait worth remembering ! And yet these 
four-and-twenty hours must be accounted for." 

Feb. 5. Sabbath. — In the afternoon, having heard the late Mr. 
Martin, of St. George's,* he writes, on returning home — " O 
quam humilem, sed quam diligentissimum ; quam dejectum, sed 
quam vigilem, quam die noctuque precantem, decet me esse 
quum tales viros aspicio. Juva, Pater, Fili, et Spiritus !" [" O 
how humble yet how diligent, how lowly yet how watchful, how 
prayerful night and day it becomes me to be, when I see such 
men. Help, Father, Son, and Spirit 1"] 

From this date he seems to have sat, along with his friend Mr. 
Somerville, almost entirely under Mr. Bruce's ministry. He took 
copious notes of his lectures and sermons, which still remain 
among his papers. 

" Feb. 28. — Sober conversation. Fain would I turn to the 

* He says of him on another occasion, June 8, 1334 — " A man greatly beloved, of 
whom the world was not worthy." " An apostolic man." His own calm, deep holi- 
ness, resembled in many respects Mr. Martin's daily walk. 

VOL, r. 2 



most interesting of all subjects. Cowardly backwardness : ' For 
whosoever is ashamed of me and my words,' &c." 

At this time, hearing, concerning a friend of the family, that 
she had said, " that she was determined to keep by the world" he 
penned the following lines on her melancholy decision : — 

She has chosen the world, 

And its paltry crowd, — 
She hiis chosen the world. 

And un endless shroud ! 
She has chosen the world. 

With its misnamed pleasures: 
She hiis chosen the world, 

Before heaven's own treasurei 

She hath launched her boat 

On life's giddy sea, 
And her all is afloat 

For eternity. 
But Bethlehem's star 

Is not in her view ; 
And her aim is far 

From the harbor true. 

When the storm descends 

From an angry sky, 
Ah! where from the winds 

Shall the vessel fly? 
When stars are concealed. 

And rudder gone, 
And heaven is scaled 

To the wandering one ! 

The whirlpool opes 

For the gallant prize; 
And, with all her hopes, 

To the deep she hies! 
But who may tell 

Of the place of woe, 
Where the wicked dwell — 

Where the worldlings go t 

For the human heart 

Can ne'er conceive 
What joys are the part 

Of them who believe; 
Nor can justly think 

Of the cup of death 
Which all must diink 

Who despise the faith. 

Away, then — oh, fly 

From the joys of earth ! 
Her smile is a lie — 

There's a sting in her mirth. 
Come, leave the dreams 

Of this transient night, 
And bask in the beams 

Of an endless light. 

" March G. — Wild wind and rain all day long. Hebrew clnss 
— psalms. New beauty in the original every time I read. Dr. 
Welsh — lecture on Pliny's letter about the Christians of Bithynia. 
Professor Jameson on quartz. Dr. Chalmers grappling with 
Hume's arguments. Evening. — Notes and l.ttle else. Mind and 
body dull." This is a specimen of his register of daily study. 

March 20. — After a few sentences in Latin, concluding with, 
" In meam animam veni, Domine Deus omnipotens," he writes, 
" Leaning on a staff of my own devising, it betrayed me, and 
broke under me. It was not thy staff. Resolving to be a god, 
thou showedst me that I was but a man. But my own staff being 
broken, why may 1 not lay hold of thine ? — Read part of the life 
of Jonathan Edwards. IIow feeble does my spark of Christianity 
appear beside such a sun ! But even his was a borrowed light, 
and the same source is still open to enlighten me." 

" April 8. — Have found much rest in him who bore all our 
burdens for us." 

" April 2G. — To-night I ventured to break the ice of unchris- 
tian silence. Why should not selfishness be buried beneath, the 
Atlantic in matters so sacred ?" 

May 6. — Saturday evening. — This was the evening previouf 


to .the Communion, and in prospect of again declaring himself the 
Lord's, at his Table, he enters into a brief review of his state. 
He had partaken of the ordinance in May of the year before for the 
first time ; but he was then living at ease, and saw not tne solemn 
nature of the step he took. He now sits down and reviews the 
past :^ 

" What a mass of corruption have I been ! How great a por- 
tion of my life have I spent wholly without God in the world ; 
given up to sense and the perishing things around me. Naturally 
of a feeling and sentimental disposition, how much of my religion 
has been, and to this day is, tinged with these colors of earth I 
Restrained from open vice by educational views and the fear of 
man, how much ungodliness has reigned within me ! How often 
has it broken through all restraints, and come out in the shape of 
lusts and anger, mad ambitions, and unhallowed words ! Though 
my vice was always refined, yet how subtile and how awfully 
prevalent it was I How complete a test was the Sabbath — spent 
in weariness, as much of it as was given to God's service ! How 
I polluted it by my hypocrisies, my self-conceits, my w^orldly 
thoughts, and worldly friends I How formally and unheedingly 
the Bible was read — how little was read — so little that even now 
I have not read it all I How unboundedly was the wild impulse 
of the heart obeyed ! How much more was the creature loved 

than the Creator ! O great God, that didst suffer me to live 

whilst I so dishonored thee, thou knowest the whole; and it was 
thy hand alone that could awaken me from the death in which I 
was, and was contented to be. Gladly would I have escaped 
from the Shepherd that sought me as I strayed ; but he took me 
up in his arms and carried me back ; and yet he took me not for 
any thing that was in me. I was no more fit for his service than 
the Australian, and no more worthy to be called and chosen. 
Yet, why should I doubt ? not that God is unwilling, not that he 
is unable — of both I am assured. But, perhaps, my old sins are 
too fearful, and my unbelief too glaring ? Nay ; I come to Christ, 
not although I am a sinner, but just because 1 am a sinner, even 
the chief." He then adds, " And though sentiment and constitu- 
tional enthusiasm may have a great effect on me, still I believe 
that my soul is in sincerity desirous and earnest about having all 
its concerns at rest with God and Christ — that his kingdom occu- 
pies the most part of all my thoughts, and even of my long-pollu- 
ted aflfeciions. Not unto me, not unto me, be the shadow of praise 
or of merit ascribed, but let all glory be given to thy most holy 
name I As surely as thou didst make the mouth with which I 
pray, so surely dost thou prompt every prayer of faith which I 
utter. Thou hast made me all that I am, and given me all that I 

Next day, after communicating, he writes : " I well remember 
when I was an enemy, and especially abhorred this ordinance as 


binding me down ; but if I be bound to Christ in heart, I shall 
not dread any bands that can draw me close to him." Evening. 
— " Much peace. Look back, my soul, and view the mind that 
belonged to thee but twelve months ago — my soul, thy place is in 
the dust!" 

" May 19. — Thought with more comfort than usual of being a 
witness for Jesus in a foreign land." 

" June 4. — Walking with A. Somerville by Craigleith. Con- 
versing on missions. If I am to go to the heathen to speak of 
the unsearchable riches of Christ, this one thing must be given 
me, to be out of the reach of the baneful influence of esteem or 
contempt. If worldly motives go with me, I shall never convert 
a soul, and shall lose my own in the labor." 

" June 22. — Variety of studies. Septuagint translation of Ex- 
odus and Vulgate. Bought Edwards' works. Drawing — Truly 
there was nothing in me that should have induced him to choose 
me. I was but as the other brands upon whom the fire is already 
kindled, which shall burn for evermore ! And as soon could the 
billet leap from the hearth and become a green tree, as my soul 
could have sprung to newness of life." 

June 25. — In reference to the office of the holy ministry : 
" How apt are we to lose our hours in the vainest babblings, as 
do the world ! How can this be with those chosen for the mighty 
office ? fellow- workers with God ? heralds of his son ? evange- 
lists ? men set apart to the work, chosen out of the chosen, as it 
were, the very pick of the flocks, who are to shine as the stars 
for ever and ever ? Alas ! alas ! my soul, where shalt thou ap- 
pear? O Lord God, I am a little child ! But thou wilt send an 
angel with a live-coal from ofl" the altar, and touch my unclean 
lips, and put a tongue within my dry mouth, so that I shall say 
with Isaiah, ' Here am I, send me.' " Then, after reading a little 
of Edwards' works, " O that heart and understanding may grow 
together, like brother and sister, leaning on one another." 

" June 27. — Life of David Brainerd. Most wonderful man ! 
What conflicts, what depressions, desertions, strength, advance- 
ment, victories within thy torn bosom ! I cannot express what I 
think when I think of thee. To-night, more set upon missionary 
enterprize than ever." 

"June 28. — O for Brainerd's humility and sin-loathing dispo- 
sitions !" 

" June 30. — Much carelessness, sin, and sorrow. O wretched 
man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of sin and 
death ? Enter thou, my soul, into the rock, and hide thee in the 
dust for fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty." And then 
he writes a few verses, of which the following are some stanzas : — 

I will arise and seek my God, 
And, bowed down bcnculli my load, 
Lay all my sins befbre him ; 


Then he will wash my soul from sin, 
And put a new heart me within, 
And teach me to adore him. 

ye that fain would find the joy — 
The only one that wants alloy — 

Which never is deceiving; 
Come to the well of life with me, 
And drink, as it is proffered, free, 
The gospel draught receiving. 

1 come to Christ, because I know 
The very worst are called to go ; 

And when in faith I find him, 
I'll walk in him and lean on him. 
Because I cannot move a limb 

Until he says, " Unbind him." 

"July 3. — This last bitter root of worldliness that has so often 
betrayed me has this night so grossly, that I cannot but regard it 
as God's chosen way to make me loathe and forsake it for ever. 
I would vow ; but it is much more like a weakly worm to pray. 
Sit in the dust, O my soul !" I believe he was enabled to keep 
his resolution. Once only, in the end of this year, was he again 
led back to gaiety ; but it was the last time. 

'' July 7. — Saturday. — After finishing my usual studies, trie^ito 
fast a little, with much prayer and earnest seeking of God's face, 
remembering what occurred this night last year." (Alluding to 
his brother's death.) 

" July 22. — Had this evening a more complete understanding 
of that self-emptying and abasement with which it is necessary 
to come to Christ — a denying of self, trampling it under foot — a 
recognizing of the complete righteousness and justice of God, that 
could do nothing else with us but condemn us utterly, and thrust 
us down to lowest hell, — a feeling that, even in hell, we should 
rejoice in his sovereignty, and say that all was rightly done." 

"August 15. — Little done, and as little suffered. Awfully im- 
portant question — Am I redeeming the time ?" 

"August 18. — Heard of the death of James Somerville* by 
fever, induced by cholera. O God, thy ways and thoughts are 
not as ours ! He had preached his first sermon. I saw him last 
on Friday, 27th of July, at the College gate ; shook hands; and 
little thought I was to see him no more on earth. 

" September 2, — Sabbath evening. — Reading. Too much en- 
grossed, and too little devotional. Preparation for a fall. Warn- 
ing. We may be too engrossed with the shell even of heavenly 

" Sept. 9. — Oh for true, unfeigned humility ! I know I have 
cause to be humble ; and yet I do not know one half of that 
cause. I know I am proud ; and yet I do not know the half of 
that pride." 

• Son of the minister of Drumelzier — very promising and very amiable. 


" Sept. 30. — Somewhat straitened by loose Sabbath observance. 
Best way is to be explicit and manly." 

"November 1. — More abundant longings for the work of the 
ministry. O that Christ would but count me faithful, that a dis- 
pensation of the Gos[)el m'ght be committed to me !" And then 
he adds, "Much peace. Peaceful, because believing.''* 

December 2. — Hitherto he used to spend much of the Sab- 
bath evening in extending his notes of Mr. Bruce's sermons ; but 
now, " Determined to be brief with these for the sake of a more 
practical, meditative, resting, sabbatical evening." 

"Dec. 11. — Mind quite unfitted for devotion. Prayerless 

" Dec. 31. — God has in this past year introduced me to the pre- 
paration of the ministry — I bless him for that. He has helped me 
to give up much of my shame to name his name, and be on his 
side, especially before particular friends — I bless him for that 
He has taken conclusively away friends that might have been a 
snare — must have been a stumbling-block — I bless him for that. 
He has introduced me to one Christian friend, and sealed more 
and more my amity with another — I bless him for that." 

January 27, 1833. — On this day it had been the custom of his 
brother David to write a " Carmen Natale" on their father's birth- 
day. Robert took up the domestic song this year ; and, in doing 
so, makes some beautiful and tender allusions. 

"Ah ! ■where is the harp that was strung. to thy praise, 
So oft and so sweetly in happier days ? 
When the tears that we shed were the tears of our joy, 
And the pleasures of home were unmixed with alloy ? 
The harp is now mute — its last breathings are spoken — 
And the cord, though 'twas threefold, is now, alas, broken! 
Yet why should we murmur, short-sighted and vain, 
Since death to that loved one was undying gain. 
Ah, fools! shall we grieve that he left this poor scene, 
To dwell in the realms that are ever serene ? 
Though he sparkled the gem in ouf circle of love, 
He is even more prized in the circles above. 
And though sweetly he sung of his father on earth, 
When this day would inspire him with tenderest mirth, 
Yet a holier tone to his harp is now given. 
As he sings to his unborn Father in heaven.'' 

February 3. — Writing to a medical friend of his brother Wil- 
liam's, he says — " I remember long ago a remark you once made 
to William, which has somehow or other stuck in my head, viz., 
that medical men ought to make a distinct study of the Bible, 
purely for the sake of administering conviction and consolation 
to their patients. I think you also said that you had actually be- 
gun with that view. Such a determination, though formed in 
youth, is one which I trust riper years will not make you blush to 

"Feb. 11. — Somewhat overcome. Let me see : there is a creep- 


ing defect here. Humble, purpose-like reading of the Word 
omitted. What plant can be unwatered, and not wither?" 

"Feb. 16. — Walk to Corstorphine Hill. Exquisite clear view 
— blue water, and brown fields, and green firs. Many thoughts 
on the follies of my youth. How many, O Lord, may they be? 
Summed up in one — ungodliness !" 

"Feb. 21. — Am I as willing as ever to preach to the lost 
heathen ?" 

" March 8. — Biblical criticism. This must not supersede heart- 
work. How apt it is !" 

" March 12. — O for activity, activity, activity !" 

" March 29. — To-day my second session (at the Divinity Hall) 
ends. I am now in the middle of my career. God hold me on 
with a steady pace !" 

"March 31. — The bull tosses in the net! How should the 
Christian imitate the anxieties of the worldling ?" 

April 17. — He heard of the death of one whom many friends 
had esteemed much and lamented deeply. This led him to touch 
the strings of his harp again, in a measure somewhat irregular, yet 
sad and sweet. 



So dying-like and frail, 
That every bitter gale 
Of winter seemed to blow 
Only to lay her low ! 
She lived to show how He, 
Who stills the stormy sea, 

Can overrule the winter's power, 

And keep alive the tiniest iiower — 

Can bear the young lamb in his arms, 

And shelter it from death's alarms. 


When spring, with brightest flowers, 
Was fresh'ning all the bowers. 

The linnet sung her choicest lay. 
When her sweet voice was hushed for aye ! 

The snowdrop rose above the ground 

When she beneath her pillow found, 
Both cold, and white and fair — 
She, fairest of the fair, 
She died to toach us all 
The loveliest must fall. 
A curse is written on the brow 
Of beauty ; — and the lover's vow 
Cannot retain the flitting breath, 
Nor save from all-devouring death. 


The spirit left the earth ; 
And He who gave her birth 
Has called her to his dread abode, 
To meet her Saviour and God. 


She lives, to tell how blest 
Is the evcrliisting rest 

Of those who, in the Lamb's blood laved, 

Are chosen, sanctified and saved I 
How fearful is their doom 
Who drop into the tomb 
Without ti covert from the ire 
Of him who is consuming fire. 


The grave shall yield his prize, 
When, from the rending skies, 

Christ shall with shouting angels come 

To wake the slumberers of the tomb. 
And many more shall rise 
Before our longing eyes. 

Oh ! may we all together meet, 

Embracing the Redeemer's feet ! 

" May 20. — General assembly. The motion regarding Chapels 
of Ease lost, by 106 to 103. Every shock of the ram is heavier 
and stronger, till all shall give way." 

" June 4. — Evening almost lost. Music will not sanctify, 
though it makes feminine the heart." 

"June 22. — Omissions made way for commissions. Could I 
but take effective warning! A world's wealth would not rnake 
up for that saying, 'If any man sin, we have an advocate with the 
Father.' But how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer 

•'June 30. — Self-examination. Why is a missionary life so 
often an object of my thoughts ? Is it simply for the love I bear 
to souls? Then, why do I not show it more'where I am ? Souls 
are as precious here as in Burmah. Does the romance of the 
business not weigh anything with me ? — the interest and esteem I 
would carry with me ? — the nice journals and letters I should 
write and receive ? Why would I so much rather go to the East 
than the West Indies? Am I wholly deceiving my own heart? 
and have I not a spark of true missionary zeal ? Lord, give me 
to understand and imitate the spirit of those unearthly words of 
thy dear Son, ' It is enough for the disciple that he be as'his Master, 
and the servant as his Lord.' ' He that loveth father or mother 
more than me, is not worthy of me.' Gloria in excehis Den" 

"August 13. — Clear conviction of sin is the only true origin of 
dependence on another's righteousness, and, therefore, (strange to 
gay !) of the Christian's peace of mind and cheerfulness." 

"Sept. 8.— Reading 'Adam's Private Thoughts.' O for his 
heart-searching humility ! Ah me I on what mountains of pride 
must I be wandering, when all I do is tinctured with the very sins 
this man so deplores ; yet where are my wailings, where my tears, 
over my love of praise ?" 

" November 14. — Composition — a pleasant kind of labor. I fear 


the love of applause, or effect, goes a great w^ay. May God keep 
me from preaching myselt", instead of Christ crucified." 

"January 15. 1834. — Heard of the death of J, S., off the Cape 
of Good Hope. O God ! how thou breakest into tamilies ! Must 
not the disease be dangerous, when a tender-hearted surgeon cuts 
deep into the flesh? How much more. when God is the operator, 
' who afflicteth not from his heart, [12D7/t3]» nor grieveth the chil- 
dren of men.' Lam. iii. 33." 

" February 23 — Sabbath. — Rose early to seek God, and found 
him whom my soul loveth. Who would not rise early to meet 
such company? The rains are over and gone. They that sow 
in tears shall reap in joy." 

Feb. 22. — He writes a letter to one who, he feared, was only 
sentimental, and not really under a sense of sin. "Is it possible, 
think you, for a person to be conceited of his miseries ? May 
there not be a deep leaven of pride in telling how desolate and 
how unfeeling we are ? — in brooding over our unearthly pains? — 
in our being excluded from the unsympathetic world ? — in our 
being the invalids of Christ's hospital ?" He had himself been 
taught by the Spirit that it is more humbling for us to take what 
grace offers, than to bewail our wants and worthlessness. 

Two days after, he records, with thankful astonishment, that 
for the first time in his life he had been blest to awaken a soul. 
All who find Christ for themselves are impelled, by the holy ne- 
cessity of constraining love, to seek the salvation of others. An- 
drew findeth his brother Peter, and Philip findeth his friend 
Nathaniel. So was it in the case before us. He no sooner knew 
Christ's righteousness as his own covering, than he longed to see 
others clothed in the same spotless robe. And it is peculiarly in- 
teresting to read the feelings of one who was yet to be blest in pluck- 
ing so many brands from the fire, when for the first time he saw 
the Lord graciously employing him in this more than angelic 
work. We have his own testitnony : — " Feb. 25. After sermon. 
The precious tidings that a soul has been melted down by the 
grace of the Saviour. How blessed an answer to prayer, if it be 
really so! 'Can these dry bones live? Lord, thoii knowest.' 
Wh it a blessed thing it is to see the first grievings of the awak- 
ened spirit, when it cries, 'I cannot see myself a sinner; I cannot 
pray, for my wild heart wanders.' It has refreshed me more 
than a thousand sermons. I know not how to thank and admire 
God sufficiently for this incipient work. Lord, perfect that which 
thou hast begun !" A few days after — " Lord, I thank thee that 
thou hast shown me this marvellous working, though I was but an 
adoring spectator, rather than an instrument." 

It is scarcely less interesting, in the case of one so gifted for the 
work of visiting the careless, and so singularly skilled in minister- 
ing the Word by the bedside of the dying, to find a record of the 
occasion when the Lord led him forth to take his first survey of 


this field of labor. There existed at that time, among some of 
the students attending the Divinity Hall, a society, the sole object 
of which was to stir up each other to set apart an hour or two 
every week for visiting the careless and needy in the most ne- 
glected portions of the town. Our rule was, not to subtract any- 
thing from our times of study, but to devote to this work an occa- 
sional hour in the intervals between different classes, or an hour 
that might otherwise have been given to recreation. All of us 
felt the work to be trying to the flesh at the outset ; but none ever 
repented of persevering in it. One Saturday forenoon, at the 
close of the usual prayer-meeting, which met in Dr. Chalmers' ves- 
try, we went up together to a district in the Castle Hill. It was 
Robert's first near view of the heathenism of his native city, and 
the effect was enduring. 

"March 3. — Accompanied A. B. in one of his rounds through 
some of the most miserable habitations I ever beheld. Such 
scenes I never before dreamed of. Ah, why am I such a stranger 
to the poor in my native town ? I have passed their doors thou- 
sands of times; I have admired the huge black piles of buJding, 
with their lofty chimneys breaking the sun's rays — why have I 
never ventured w'ithin ? How dwelleth the love of God in me? 
How cordial is the welcome even of the poorest and most loath- 
some to the voice of Christian sympathy I What imbedded masses 
of human beings are huddled together, unvisited by friend or 
minister ! ' No man careth for our souls,' is written over every 
forehead. Awake, my soul ! Why should I give hours and days 
any longer to the vain world, when there is such a world of misery 
at my very door? Lord, put thine own strength in me ; confirm 
every good resolution ; forgive my past long life of uselessness 
and Iblly." 

He forthwith became one of the Society's most steady mem- 
bers, cultivating a district in the Canongate, teaching a Sabbath- 
school, and distributing the Monthly Visitor, along with Mr. 
Somerville. His experience there was fitted to give him insight 
into the sinner's depravity, in all its forms. His first visit in his 
district is thus noticed — " March 24. Visited two families with 
tolerable success. God grant a blessing may go with us I Began 
in fear and weakness, and in much trembling. May the power be 
of God." Soon after, he narrates the following scene ; — " Entered 

the house of , Heard her swearing as 1 came up the stair. 

Found her storming at three little grandchildren, whom her daugh- 
ter had left with her. She is a seared, hard-hearted wretch. 
Read Ezekiel xxxiii. Interrupted by the entrance of her second 
daughter, furiously demanding her marriage lines. Became more 
discreet. Promised to come back — never came. Her father-in- 
law entered, a hideous spectacle of an aged drunkard, demanding 
money. Left the house with warnings." Another case he par- 
ticularly mentions of a sick woman, who, though careless before, 


suddenly seemed to float into a sea of joy, without being able to 
give any scriptural account of the change. She continued, I be- 
lieve, to her death in this state ; but he feared it was a subtle de- 
lusion of Satan, as an angel of light. One soul, liowever, was, to 
all appearance, brought truly to the Rock of Ages, during his and 
his I'riend's prayerful visitations. These were first-fruits. 

He continues his diary, though often considerable intervals 
occur in the register of his spiritual state. 

" May 9. — How kindly has God thwarted me in every instance 
where I sought to enslave myself. I will learn at least to glory 
in disappointments." 

"May 10. — At the Communion. Felt less use for the minister 
than ever. Let the Master of the Feast alone speak to my heart." 
He felt at such times, as many of the Lord's people have always 
done, that it is not the addresses of the ministers in serving the 
table, but the Supper itself that ought to " satiate their souls with 

May 2L — It is affecting to us to read the following entry : — 
" This day I attained my twenty-first year. O how long and how 
worthlessly I have lived, Thou only knowest ! Neff died in his 
thirty-first year ; when shall I ?"* 

May 29. — He this day wrote very faithfully, yet very kindly, 
to one who seemed to him not a believer, and who, nevertheless, 
appropriated to \\exse\i \he promises of God. "If you are wholly 
unassured of your being a believer, is it not a contradiction in 
terms to say, that you are sure the believers' promises belong 
to you ? Are you an assured believer ? If so, rejoice in your 
heirship ; and yet rejoice with trembling ; for that is the very 
character of God's heirs. But are you unassured — nay, wholly 
unassured? then what mad presumption to say to your soul, that 
these promises, being in the Bible, must belong indiscriminately to 
all 1 It is too gross a contradiction for you to compass, except in 
word." He then shows that Christ's free offer must be accepted 
by the sinner, and so the promises become his. " The sinnei 
complies with the call or offer, 'Come unto me;' and thereafter, 
but not before, can claim the annexed promise as his — ' I will 
give thee rest.' " 

" August 14. — Partial fast, and seeking God's face by prayer. 
This day thirty years, my late dear brother was born. O for 
more love, and then will come more peace." That same evening 
he wrote the hymn, " The Barren Fig-tree" 

* It is worthy of notice, how often the Lord has done much work by a few years 
of holy labor. Ih our Church, G. Gillespie and J. Durham died at thirty-.iix; 
Hugh Binning at twenty-six ; Andrew Gray when scarcely at twenty-two. Of our 
witnesses, Patrick Hamilton was cutoff at twenty-four, and Hugh M'Kail at twenty- 
six. In other churches we might mention many, such as John Janeway at twenty- 
three. David Brainerd at thirty, and Henry Martyn at thirty-two. Theirs was a 
short life, filled up with usefulness, and crowned with glory. O to be as they ! 


"October 17. — Private meditation exchanged for conversation 
Here is the root of tlie evil — forsake God, and he forsakes us." 

Some evening this month he had been reading, "Baxter's Call 
to the Unconverted." Deeply impressed with the afiectionate and 
awl'ully solemn urgency of the man of God, he wrote, — 

"Though Baxter's lips have long in silence hung, 
And death long hush'd that sinncr-wakcning tongue; 
Yet still, though dead, he speiiks aloud to all, 
And from the grave still issues forth his 'Call.' 
Like some loud angel voice from Zion Hill, 
The mighty echo rolls and rumbles still. 
O grant that we when sleeping in the dust. 
May thus speak forth the wisdom of the just." 

Mr. M'Chcyne was peculiarly subject to attacks of fever, and 
by one of these was he laid down on a sick bed on November 
15th. However, this attack was of short duration. On the 21st 
he writes — " Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his 
benefits. Learned more and more of the value of Jehovah Tzid- 
kenu." He had, three days before, written his well-known hymn, 
** I once icas a stranger," &c., entitled "Jehovah Tzidkenu, the 
Watchword of the Reformers." It was the fruit of a slight illness 
which had tried his soul, by setting it more immediately in view 
of the judgment-seat of Christ ; and the hymn which he so sweetly 
sung reveals the sure and solid confidence of his soul. In refer- 
ence to that same illness, he seems to have penned the following 
lines, November 24th : — 

He tenderly binds up the broken in heart, 

The soul bowed down he will raise; 
For mourning the ointment of joy will impart, 

For heaviness garments of praise. 

Ah, come then and sing to the praise of our God, 
I Who giveth and taketh away ; 

Who first by his kindness, and then by his rod, 
Would teach us poor sinners to pray. 

For in the assembly of Jesus' first-born, 

Who anthems of gratitude raise; 
Each heart has by great tribulation been torn, 

Each voice turned from wailing to praise. 

" November 9. — Heard of Edward Irving's death. I look back 
upon him with awe, as on the saints and martyrs of old. A holy 
man, in spite of all his delusions and errors. He is now with his 
God and Saviour, whom he wronged so much, yet I am per- 
suaded, loved so sincerely. How should we lean for wisdom, not 
on ourselves, but on the God of all grace !'* 

"Nov. 21. — If nothing else will do to sever me from my sins, 
Lord send me such sore and trying calamities as shall awake me 
from earthly slumbers. It must always be best to be alive to 
ihee, whatever be the quickening instrument. 1 tremble as I 


write, for oh ! on every hand do I see too likely occasions for 
sore afflictions." 

"February 15, 1835. — To-morrow I undergo my trials before 
the Presbytery. May God give me courage in the hour of need. 
What should I fear? If God see meet to put me into the minis- 
try, who shall keep me back ? If I be not meet, why should I be 
thrust forward? To thy service I desire to dedicate myself over 
and over again." 

" March 1. — Bodily service. What change is there in the 
heart ! Wild, earthy affections there are here ; strong, coarse 
passions ; bands both of iron and silk. But I thank thee, O my 
God, that they make me cry, ' O wretched man !' Bodily weak- 
ness, too, depresses me." 

" March 29. — College finished on Friday last. My last ap- 
nearance there. Life itself is vanishing fast. Make haste for 

In such records as these, we read God's dealings with his soul 
up to the time when he was licensed to preach the gospel. His 
preparatory discipHne, both of heart and of intellect, had been 
directed by the Great Head of the Church in a way that remarka- 
bly qualified him for the work he was to perform in the vineyard. 

His soul was prepared for the awful work of the ministry by 
much prayer, and much study of the Word of God ; by affliction 
in his person ; by inward trials and sore temptations ; by experi- 
ence of the depth of corruption in his own heart ; and by dis- 
coveries of the Saviour's fulness of grace. He learnt experimen- 
tally to ask — " Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that 
believeth that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John v. 5. During 
the four years that followed his awakening, he was oftentimes 
under the many waters, but was ever raised again by the same 
Divine hand that had drawn him out at the first ; till at length, 
though still often violently tossed, the vessel was able steadily to 
keep the summit of the wave. It appears that he learnt the way 
of salvation experimentally, ere he knew it accurately by theory 
and system ; and thus no doubt it was that his whole ministry was 
little else than a giving out of his own inward life. 

' The Visiting Society noticed above was much blessed to the 
culture of his soul, and not less so the Missionary Association and 
the Prayer Meeting connected with it. None were more regular 
at the hour of prayer than he, and none more frequently led up 
our praises to the throne. He was for some time Secretary to 
the association, and interested himself deeply in details of mission- 
ary labors. Indeed, to the last day of his life, his thoughts often 
turned to foreign lands ; and one of the last notes he wrote was 
to the Secretary of the association in Edinburgh, expressing his 
jnabated interest in their prosperity. 

During the first years of his college course, his studies did not 
absorb his whole attention ; but no sooner was the change on 


his soul begun, than his studies shared in the results. A deepei 
sense of responsibility led him to occupy his talents for the ser- 
vice of Ilirn who bestowed them. There have been few who, 
along with a devotedjiess f>f spirit that sought to be ever directly 
engaged in the Lord's work, have nevertheless retained such con- 
tinued and undecaying esteem i'or the advantages of study. 
While attending the usual literary and philosophical classes, he 
found time to turn his attention to Geology and Natural History. 
And often in his days of most successful preaching, when, next to 
his own soul, his parish and his flock were his only care, he has 
been known to express a regret that he had not laid up in former 
days more stores of all useful knowledge ; for he found himself able 
to use the jewels of the Egyptians in the service of Christ. His 
previous studies would sometimes flash into his mind some happy 
illustration of Divine truth, at the very moment when he was 
most solemnly applying the glorious gospel to the most ignorant 
and vile. 

His own words will best show his estimate of study, and at the 
same time the prayerful manner in which he felt it should be car- 
ried on. "Do get on with your studies," he wrote to a young 
student in 1840. " Remember you are now forming the charac- 
ter of your future ministry in great measure, if God spare you. 
If you acquire slovenly or sleepy habits of study now, you will 
never get the better of it. Do every thing in its own time. Do 
every thing in earnest. — if it is worth doing, then do it with all 
your might. Above all, keep much in tlie presence of God. 
Never see the face of man till you have seen his face who is our 
life, our all. Pray for others : pray for your teachers, fellow-stu- 
dents," &c. To another he wrote — " Beware of the atmosphere 
of the classics. It is pernicious indeed ; and you need much of 
the south wind breathing over the Scriptures to counteract it. 
True, we ought to know them ; but only as chemists handle poi- 
sons — to discover their qualities, not to infect their blood with 
them." And again — '• Pray that the Holy Spirit would not only 
make you a believing and holy lad, but make you wise in your 
studies also. A ray of Divine light in the soul sometimes clenrs 
up a mathematical problem wonderfully. The smile of God 
calms the spirit, and the left hand of Jesus holds up the fainting 
head, and his Holy Spirit quickens the affection ; so that even na- 
tural studies go on a million times more easily and comfortably." 
Before entering the Divinity Hall, he had attended a private 
class for the study of Hel)rew ; and having afterwards attended 
the two sessions of Dr. Brunton's College Class, he made much 
progress in that language. He could consult the Hebrew origi- 
nal of the Old Testament with as much ease as most of our mm- 
isters are able to consult the Greek of the New. 

It was about the time of his first year's attendance at the Hall 
that I began to know him as an intimate friend. During the sum- 


mer vacations — that we might redeem the time — some of us who 
remained in town, when most of our fellow-students were gone 
to the country, used to meet once every week in the forenoon, for 
the purpose of investigating some po!«t of Systematic Divinitu, 
and stating to each other the amount and result of our private 
reading. At another time, we met in a similar way, till we had 
overtaken the chief points of the Popish controversy. Advance- 
ment in our acquaintance with the Greek and Hebrew Scriptiu'es, 
also brought us together: and one summer the study of Unful- 
jilled Prophecy assembled a few of us once a- week, at an early 
morning hour, when, though our views differed much on particu- 
lar points, we never failed to get food to our souls in the Scrip- 
tures we explored. But no society of this kind was more useful 
and pleasant to us than one which, from its object, received the 
name of Exegetical. It met during the session of the Theologi- 
cal '^^lasses every Saturday morning at half-past six. The study 
of Biblical criticism, and whatever might cast light on the Word 
of God, was our aim ; and these meetings w^ere kept up regularly 
during four sessions. Mr. M'Cheyne spoke of himself as indebted 
to this society for much of that discipline of mind on Jewish lite- 
rature and Scripture geography which was found to be so useful 
in the Mission of Inquiry to the Jews in after days.* 

But these helps in study were all the while no more than sup- 
plementary. The regular systematic studies of the Hall furnished 
the main provision for his mental culture. Under Dr. Chalmers 
for Divinity, and under Dr. Welsh for Church History, a course 

♦ The members of this Society were — Rev. William Laughton. now minister of St. 
Thomas's, Greenock, in eonnexion with the Free Church; Thomas Bronvi. Free 
Churchj Kinneif ; William Wilson, Free Church. Carmylie ; Horaiiiis Boiiar. Free 
Church, Kelso; Andrew A. Bonar^ Free Church, Collace; Robert M. M-Cln;ijjie; 
Alexander Somerville, Free Church, Anderston, Glasgow; John Thomson, Mariners' 
Free Church, Leith; Robert K. Hnmillon, Madras; John Burnf, i'or some time at 
Madeira; Patrick Borroniman. Free Church, Glenc:iirn: Walter Wood, Free Church, 
Weststruther ; Henry Moucrit-ff, Free Church, Kilbride ; James Cochrane, Estab- 
lished Church, Cupar; John Miller, Secretary to Free Church Special Commission; 
G. Smeaton, Free Church, Auchterarder; Robert ICmnear, Free Church, Moffat: 
and W. B. Clarke, Free Church, Half-Morton. Every meeting was opened and 
closed with prayer. Minutes of the discussions were kept; and the essays read 
were preserved in volumes. A very characteristic essay of Mr. M'Choyne's is, 
" Lebanon and its scenery,'' (inserted in the Remain.s), wherein he adduces the evi- 
dence of travellers for facts and customs which himself was afterwards to see. Often 
in 133!), pleasant remembrances of these days of you'hful study were suggf^s^••^d by 
wh;it we actually witnessed; and in the essay referred to 1 find an interesting coinci- 
dence. Rewrites — " What a refreshing sight to his eye, yet undimmed v.-ith age, 
after resting forty years on the monotonous scenery of the desert, now to rest on 
Zicn's olive-clad hills, and Lebanon, with its vine-clad base and ove;-hanging for- 
ests, and towering pealcs of snow." This was the very impression on our mind^ when 
we ourselves came up from the wilderness, as expressed in the narrative, chap. ii. — 
" May 29. Next morning we saw at a distance a range of hills, running noith and 
south, called by the Arabs Djehel Khnlie. After wandering so many days in the wil- 
derness, with its vast monotonous plains of level sand, "the sight of these distant 
mountains was a pleas;int relief to the eye; and we thought we could understand a 
little of the feeling with which Moses, after being forty years in the desert, would 
pray, ' I pray thee let me go over.' — Dent. iii. 25." 

32 MRMOiR OP Tiin nr.v. r. m. m'ciieyne. 

of four years afforded no ordinary advantages for enlarging the 
undcrstSMiding. New fields of" thought were daily opened up. 
His notes and his diary testify that he endeavored to retain what 
he heard, and that he used to read as much of the books recom- 
mended by the professors as his time enabled him to overtak* 
Many years after, he thankfully called to mind lessons that had 
been taught in these classes. Riding one day with Mr. Hamilton 
(now of Regent Square, London) from Abernyte to Dundee, they 
were led to speak of the best mode of dividing a sermon. "I 
used," said he, " to despise Dr. Welsh's rules at the time I heard 
him. but nuw I feel I must use. them, for nothing is more needful 
for making a sermon memorable and impressive than a logical ar- 

His intellectual powers were of a high order — clear and dis- 
tinct apprehension of his subject, and felicitous illustration, charac- 
terized him among all his companions. To an eager desire for 
wide acquaintance with truth in all its departments, and a me- 
rnory strong and accurate in retaining what he found, there was 
added a remarkable candor in examining what claimed to be the 
truth. He had also an ingenious and enterprising mind — a mind 
that could carry out what was suggested, when it 'did not strike out 
new light for itself. He possessed great powers of analysis ; often 
his judgment discovered singular discrimination. His imagination 
seldom sought out objects of grandeur ; for, as a friend has truly 
said of him, " he had a kind and quiet eye, which found out the liv- 
ing and beautiful in nature, rather than the majestic and sublime." 

He might have risen to high eminence in the circles of taste 
and literature, but denied himself all such hopes, that he might 
win souls. With such peculiar talents as he possessed, his minis- 
try might have, in any circumstances, attracted many ; but these 
attractions were all made subsidiary to the single desire of 
awakening the dead in trespasses and sins. Nor would he have 
expected to be blessed to the salvation of souls unless he had him- 
self been a monument of sovereign grace. .In his esteem, " to be 
in Christ before being in the miriistry'" was a thing indispensable. 
He often pointed to those solemn words of Jeremiah (xxiii. 21.) 
" 1 have not sent these prophets, yet they ran ; I have not spoken to 
them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in rny counsel, 
and caused my people to hear my words, then they should have 
turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their do- 

It was with fiith already in iiis heart that he went forward to 
the holy office of the ministry, receiving from his Lord the rod by 
which he was to do signs, and which, when it had opened rocks 
and made waters gush out, he never failed to replace upon the 
ark whence it was taken, giving glory to God ! He knew not 
the way by which God was leading him ; but even then he was 
under the guidance of the jjillar-cloud. At this very period he 


wrote that hymn, " They sing the song of Moses." His course 
was then about to begin ; but now that it has ende d,we can look 
back and plainly see that the faith he therein expressed was not 



" He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, 
bringing his sheaves with him." — Psa. cxxvi. 6. 

While he was still only undergoing a student's usual examina- 
tion before the Presbytery, in the spring and summer of 1835, 
several applications were made to him by ministers in the church, 
who desired to secure his services for their part of the vmeyard. 
He was especially urged to consider the field of labor at Larbert 
and Dunipace, near Stirling, under Mr. John Bonar, the pastor 
of these united parishes. This circumstance led him (as is often 
done in such cases) to ask the Presbytery of Edinburgh, under 
whose superintendence he had hitherto carried on his studies, to 
transfer the remainder of his public trials to another Presbytery, 
where there would be less press of business to occasion delay. 
This request being readily granted, his connection with Dumfries- 
shire led him to the Presbytery of Annan, who licensed him to 
preach the gospel on 1st July, 1835. His feelings at the moment 
appear from a record of his own in the evening of the day : 
"Preached three probationary discourses in Annan Church, and, 
after an examination in Hebrew, was solemnly licensed to preach 
the gospel by Mr. Monyjaws, the Moderator. ' Bless the Lord, 
O my soul ; and all that is within me be stirred up to praise and 
magnify his holy name !' What I have so long desired as the 
highest honor of man, thou at length givest me — me who dare 
scarcely use the words of Paul, ' Unto me who am less than the 
least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach the un- 
searchable riches of Christ.' Felt somewhat solemnized, though un- 
able to feel my unworthiness as I ought. Be clothed with humility." 

An event occurred the week before which cast a solemnizing 
influence on him, and on his after-fellow-traveller and brother in 
the gospel, who was licensed by another Presbytery that same 
day. This event was the lamented death of the Rev. John Brown 
Patterson, of Falkirk — one whom the Lord had gifted with pre- 
eminent eloquence and learning, and who was using all for his 
Lord, when cut off" by fever. He had spoken much before his 
death of the awfulness of a pastor's charge, and his early death 

VOL. r. 3 


sent home the lesson to mnny, with the warning that the pastor's 
accouni of souls might be suddenly required of him. 

On the following Sabbath Mr. M'Cheyne preached for the 
first, time, in Ruthwell Church, near Dumfries, on "the Pool of 
Bethes.iii ;" and in the afternoon, on "the Strait Gate." He 
writes that evening in his diary : " Found it a more awfully 
solemn thing than I had imagined to announce Christ authorita- 
tively ; yet a glorious j)rivilege !" The week after (Saturday, 
July 11), "Lord, put me into thy service when and where thou 
pleasest. In thy hand all my qualities will be put to their appro- 
priate end. Let me, then, have no anxieties." Next day, also, 
after preaching in St. John's Church, Leith, " Remembered, before 
going into the puipit, the confession which says* ' We have been 
more anxious about the messenger than the message.'" In 
preaching that day, he states, "It came across me in the pulpit, 
that if spared to be a minister. I might enpy sweet flashes of 
communion with God in that situation. The mind is entirely 
wrought up to speak for God. It is possible, then, that more vivid 
acts of faith may be gone through then, than in quieter and sleep- 
ier moments." 

It was not till the 7th of November that he began his labors at 
Laibert. In the interval, he preached in various places, and 
many began to perceive tiie peculiar sweetness of the word in his 
lips. In accepting the invitation to labor in the sphere proposed, 
he wrote: "It has always been my aim, and it is my prayer, to 
have no plans with regard to myself — well assured as 1 am. that 
the ))lace where the Saviour sees meet to place me, must ever be 
the best place for me." 

The parish to which he had come was very large, containing 
six thousand souls. The parish Church is at Larbert ; but through 
the exertions of Mr. Bonar, many years ag<>. a second church was 
erected for the people of Dunipace. iNlr. iHanna. afterwards 
minister of Skirling, had preceded Mr. MCheyne in the duties of 
ass'stant in his field of labor; and Mr. M-Cheyne now entered on 
it with a fully devoted and zealous heart, although in a weak state 
of health. As assistant, it was his port to preach every alte.niate 
Sabbath at Larbert and Dunipace. and during the week to visit 
amouLT the population of both these districts, according as he felt 
himself enabled in !)ody and soul. There was a marked diHer- 
eiice between the two districts in their general features ofcliar- 
ai:tcr; but equal labor was bestowed on both by the ministt r and 
his assistant; and often did their prayer ascend that the windows 
of heaven might be opened over the two sanctuar-es. Souls itave 
been saved there. Often, however, did the faithful pastor m'nfTJo 
his tears with those of his younger fellow-soldier, complaining, 

* He here refers to the '' Full anl Qnidbl Acknon-lei1^m'>nt of Sin," for .St\i>lpi)ts 
»n'l Ministers, drawn up by the commissiou of .-issembly, iu 1651 and ofleu ro- 
priuted since. 


" Lord, who hath believed our report ?" There was much sowing 
in faith ; nor was this sowing abandoned even when the returns 
seemed most inadequate. 

Mr. M^Cheyne had great dehght in remembering that Larbert 
was one of the places where, in other days, that holy man of God, 
Robert Bruce, had labored and prayed. Writing at an after 
period from the Holy Land, he expressed the wish, " May the 
spirit be poured upon Larbert as in Bruce's days." But more 
than all associations, the souls of the people, whose salvation he 
longed for, were ever present to his mind. A letter to Mr. Bonar, 
hi 1837, from Dundee, shows us h^s yearnings over them. "• What 
an interest I feel in Larbert and Dunipace. It is like the land of 
my birth. Will the Sun of Righteousness ever rise upon it, 
making its hills and valfes bright with the light of the knowledge 
of Jesus !" 

No sooner was he settled in h's chamber here, than he com- 
menced his work. With him, the commencement of all labor \ 
invariably consisted in the preparation of his own soul. The • 
forerunner of each day's visitations was a calm season of private 
devotion during morning hours. The walls of his chamber were 
witnesses of his prayerfulness — I believe of his tears, as well as 
of h s cries. The pleasant sound of psalms often issued from his 
room at an early hour. Then followed the reading of the Word 
for his own sanctification ; and few have so fully realized the 
blessing of the first Psalm. His leaf did not wither, for his roots 
were in the waters. It was here, too, that he began to study so 
closely the works of Jonathan Edwards — reckoning them a mine 
to be wrought, and if wrought, sure to repay the toil. Along 
with this author, the Letters of Samuel Rutherford were often in 
his hand. Books of general knowledge he occasionally perused ; 
but now it was done with the steady purpose of finding in them 
some illustration of spiritual truth. He rose from reading " Insect 
Architecture," with the observation, "God reigns in a community 
of ants and ichneumons, as visibly as among living men or 
mighty seraphim I" 

His desire to grow in acquaintance with Scripture was very ■ 
intense ; and both Old and New Testament were his regular 
study. He loved to range over the wide revelation of God. 
"He would be a sorry student of thi^ worl^," said he to a friend, 
" who should forever confine his gaze to the fruitful fields and 
well- watered gardens of this cultivated earth. He could have no 
true idea of what the world was, unless he had stood upon the 
rocks of our mountains and seen the bleak muirs and mosses of 
our barren land ; unless he had paced the quarter-deck when the 
vessel was out of sight of land, and seen the waste of waters with- 
out any shore upon the horizon. Just so, he would be a sorry 
student of the Bible, who would not know all that God has in- 
' spired : who would not examine into the most barren chapters to 


collect the good for which they were intended ; who would not 
strive to understand all the bloody battles which are chronicled, 
that he might find ' bread out of the eater, and honey out of the 
Jion.'"— (June, 1836.) 

His anxiety to have every possible help to holiness led him to 
notice what are the disadvantages of those who are not daily stir- 
red up by the fellowship of more advanced believers. " I have 
found, by some experience, that in the country here my watch 
does not go so well as it used to do in town. By small and 
gradual changes I find it either gains or loses, and I am surprised 
to find myself difl^erent in time from all the world, and, what is 
worse, from the sun. The simple explanation is, that in town I 
met with a steeple in every street, and a good-going clock upon 
it ; and so any aberrations in my watch were soon noticed and 
easily corrected. And just so I sometimes think it may be with 
that inner watch, whose hands point not to time but to eternity. 
By gradual and slow changes the wheels of my soul lag behind, 
or the springs of passions become too powerful; and I have no 
living time-piece with which I may compare, and by which I may 
amend my going. You will say that I may always have the sun : 
And so it should be ; but we have many clouds which obscure the 
sun from our weak eyes." — (Letter to Rev. H. Bonar, Kelso.) 

From the first he fed others by what he himself was feeding 
upon. His preaching was in a manner the development of his 
soul's experience. It was a giving out of the inward life. He 
loved to come up from the pastures wherein the Chief Shepherd 
had met him — to lead the flock entrusted to his care to the spots 
where he found nourishment. 

In the field of his labor, he found enough of work to overwhelm 
the Spirit. The several collieries and the Carron Iron-works fur- 
nish a population who are, for the most part, either sunk in deep 
indifference to the truth, or are opposed to it in the spirit of infi- 
delity. Mr. M'Cheyne at once saw that the pastor whom he had 
come to aid, whatever was the measure of his health, and zeal, 
and perse vei-ance, had duties laid on him which were altogether 
beyond the power of man to overtake. When he made a few 
weeks' trial, the field appeared more boundless, and the mass of 
souls more impenetrable, than he had ever conceived. 

It was probably, in some degree, his experience at this time that 
gave him such deep sympathy with the Church Extension Scheme, 
as a truly noble and Christian effort for bringing the glad tidings 
to the doors of a population who must otherwise remain neglected, 
and were themselves willing so to live and die. He conveyed his 
impressions on this subject to a friend abroad, in the iollowing 
terms : — " There is a soul-destroying cruelty in the cold-hearted 
opposition which is made to the multiplication of ministers in such 
neglected and overgrown districts as these. If one of our Royal 
Commissioners would but consent to undergo the bodily fatigue 


that a minister ought to undergo in visiting merely the sick and 
dymg of Larbert, (let alone the visitation of the whole, and pre- 
paration for the pulpit,) and that for one month, I would engage 
that if he be able to rise out of his bed by the end of it, he would 
change his voice and manner at the Commission Board." 

A few busy weeks passed over, occupied from morning to 
night in such cares and toils, when another part of the discipline 
he was to undergo was sent. In the end of December, strong 
oppression of the heart and an irritating cough caused some oi 
his friends to fear that his lungs were affected ; and for som 
weeks he was laid aside from public duty. On examination, i 
was found that though there was a dulness in the right lung, yei 
the material of the lungs was not affected. For a time, however, 
the air-vessels were so clogged and irritated, that if he had con- 
tinued to preach, disease would have quickly ensued. But this 
also was soon removed, and, under cautious management, he re- 
sumed his work. 

This temporary illness served to call forth the extreme sensi- 
tiveness of his soul to the responsibilities of his office. At its 
commencement — having gone to Edinburgh " in so sweet a sun- 
shine mornhig that God seemed to have chosen it for him" —he 
wrote to Mr. Bonar — " If I am not recovered before the third 
Sabbath, I fear I shall not be able to bear upon my conscience 
the responsibility of leaving you any longer to labor alone, bear- 
ing unaided the burden of 6000 souls. No, my dear Sir, I must 
read the will of God aright in his providence, and give way, 
when he bids me, to fresh and abler workmen. I hope and pray 
that it may be his will to restore me again to you and your par- 
ish, with a heart tutored by sickness to speak more and more as 
dying to dying." Then, mentioning two of the sick — '• Poor A. 
D. and C. H., I often think of them. I can do no more for their 
good, except pray for them. Tell them that I do this without 

The days when a holy pastor, who knows the blood-sprinkled 
way to the Father, is laid aside, are probably as much a proof of 
the kindness of God to his flock as days of health and activity. 
He is occupied, during this season of retirement, in discovering 
the plagues of his heart, and in going in, like Moses, to plead with 
God face to face for his flock, and for his own soul. Mr. 
M'Cheyne believed that God had this end in view with him ; and 
that the Lord should thus deal with him at his entrance into the 
vineyard made him ponder these dealings the more. " Paul 
asked," says he, •' ' What wilt thou have me to do V and it was 
answered, ' I will show him what great things he must suffer for 
my name's sake.' Thus it may be with me. I have been too 
anxious to do great things. The lust of praise has ever been my 
besetting sin ; and what more befitting school could be found for 
me than that of suffering alone, away from the eye and ear of 


mnn." Writing again to Mr. Bonar, h3 tells him: "I feel dis- 
tinctly that the whole of my labor during this season of sickness 
and pa'n, should be in the way of prayer and intercession. And 
yet, so strongly does Satan work in our deceitl'ul hearts. I scarce- 
ly remember a season wherein I have been more averse to these 
duties. I try to ' build myself up in my most holy faith, praying 
in the Holy Ghost, keeping myself in the love of God. and looking 
for the mercy of the Lord .lesus unto eternal life.' That text of 
Jude has peculiar beauties for me at this season. If it be good 
to come under the love of God once, surely it is good to keep 
ourselves there. And yet how reluctant we are. I cannot doubt 
that boldness is offered me to enter into the holiest of all ; I can- 
not doubt my right and title to enter continually by the new and 
bloody way ; I cannot doubt that when I do enter in, I stand not 
only forgiven, but accepted in the Beloved ; J cannot doubt that 
when 1 do enter in. the Spirit is willing and ready to descend like 
a dove, to dwell in my bosom as a Spirit of prayer and peace, 
enabling me to ' pray in the Holy Ghost ;' and that Jesus is ready 
to rise up as my intercessor with the Father, praying for me 
though not for the world : and that the prayer-hearing God is 
ready to bend his ear to requests which he delights to hear and 
answer. I cannot doubt that thus to dwell in God is the true 
blessedness of my nature ; and yet, strange unaccountable crea- 
ture ! lam too olten unwilling to enter in. I go about and about 
the sanctuary, and I sometimes press in through the rent vail, and 
see the blessedness of dwelling there to be far better than that of 
the tents of wickedness ; yet it is certain that I do not dwell 
■within." — " My prayers follow you, especially to the sick-beds of 
A. D. and C. H. I hope they still survive, and that Christ may 
yet be glorified in them." 

On resuming his labors, he found a residence in Carronvale. 
From this pleasant spot he used to ride out to his work. But 
pleasant as the spot was, yet being only partially recovered, he 
was not satisfied ; he lamented that he was unable to overtake 
what a stronger laborer would have accomplished. He often 
cast a regretful look at the collieries : and remembering them 
still at a later period, he reproached himself with neglect, though 
most unjustly. " The places which I left utterly unbroken in upon 
are Kinnaird and Milton. Both of these rise up against my con- 
science, particularly the last, through which I have ridden so 
often." It was not the comfort, but the positive usefulness of the 
ministry, that he envied ; and he judged of places by their litness 
to promote this great end. He said of a neighboring parish, which 
he had occasion to visit — *' The manse is altogether too sweet ; 
other men could hardly Uve there without saying, ' This is my 
resi.' I don't think ministers' manses should ever be so beautiful." 

A simple incident was overruled to promote the ease and fluency 
of his pulpit ministrations. From the very beginning of his minis- 


try, he reprobated the custom of reading sermons, beUeving that 
to do so does exceedingly weaken the freedom and natural fervor 
of the messenger in dehvering his message. Neither did he recite 
what he had written. But his custom was to impress on his 
memory the substance of what he had beforehand carefully writ- 
ten, and then to speak as he found liberty. One morning, as he 
rode rapidly along to Dunipace, his written sermons were dropped 
on the ways'.de. This accident prevented him having the oppor- 
tunity of preparing in his usual manner; but he was enabled to 
preach with more than usual freedom. For the first time in his 
life, he discovered that he possessed the gift of extemporaneous 
composition, and learned, to his own surprise, that he had more 
composedness of mind and command of language than he had be- 
lieved. This discovery, however, did not in the least degree 
diminish his diligent preparation. Indeed the only use he made 
of the incident at the time it occurred was, to draw a lesson of 
dependence on God's own immediate blessing, rather than on the 
satisfactory preparation made. '• One thing always fills the cup 
of my consolation, that God may work by the meanest and poor- 
est words, as well as by the most polished and ornate — yea 
perhaps more readily, that the glory may be all his own." 

His hands were again full, distributing the bread of life in fel- 
lowship with Mr. Bonar. The progress of his own soul, mean- 
while, may be traced in some of the few entries that occur in his 
diary during this period : — 

" February 21, 1836 — Sabbath. — Blessed be the Lord for an- 
other day of the Son of Man. Resumed my diary, long broken 
off"; not because I do not feel the disadvantages of it — making 
you assume feelings and express rather what you wish to be than 
what you are — but because the advantages seem greater. It 
ensures sober reflection on the events of the day as seen in God's 
eye. Preached twice in Larbert, on the righteousness of God, 
Rom. i. 10. In the moi-ning was more engaged in preparing the 
head than the heart. This has been frequently my error, and I 
have always felt the evil of it, especially in prayer. Reform it, 
then, O Lord." 

" Feb. 27. — Preached in Dunipace with more heart than ever I 
remember to have done, on Rom. v. 10, owing to the gospel- 
nature of the subject and prayerful preparation. Audience smaller 
than usual ! How happy and strange is the feeling when God 
gives the soul composure to stand and plead for him. O that it 
were altogether for him I plead, not for myself." 

" March 5. — Preached in Larbert with very much comfort, 
owing chiefly to my remedying the error of 21st Feb. There- 
fore the heart and the mouth were full. ' Enlarge my heart, and I 
shall run,' said David. 'Enlarge my heart and I shall preach.'" 

In this last remark we see the germ of his remarkably solemn 
ministry. His heart was filled, and his lips then spoke what he 


felt within his heart. He gave out not merely living water, but 
living water drawn at the springs that he had himself drank of; 
and is not this a true gospel ministry? Some venture to try what 
they consider a more intellectual method of addressing the con- 
science ; but ere a minister attempts this mode, he ought to see 
that he is one who is able to afford more deep and anxious prepa- 
ration of heart than other men. Since the intellectual part of the 
discourse is not that which is most likely to be an arrow in the 
conscience, those pastors who are intellectual men must bestow 
ten-fold more prayerfulness on their work, if they would have 
eilher their ow'n or their people's souls affected under their word 
If we are ever to preach with compassion for the perishing, we 
must ourselves be moved by those same views of sin and right- 
eousness which moved the human soul of Jesus. (See Psalm 
xxxviii. and Iv.) 

About this time he occasionally contributed papers to the Chris- 
tian Hej'ald : one of these was On sudden Conversions, showing 
that Scripture led us to expect such. During this month, he 
seems to have written the " Lines on Mungo Parle" one of the 
pieces which attracted ihe notice of Professor Wilson. But what- 
ever he engaged in, his aim was to honor his Master. I find him, 
after hearing a sermon by another, remarking (April 3d), " Some 
things powerful ; but I thirst to hear more of Christ." 

On Sabbath 10, he writes, " Preached with some tenderness of 
heart. O why should I not weep, as Jesus did over Jerusalem? 
Evening — Instructing two delightful Sabbath-schools. Much 
bodily weariness. Gracious kindness of God in giving rest to the 

" April 13. — Went to Stirling to hear Dr. Duff" once more upon 
his system. With greater warmth and energy than ever. He 
kindles as he goes. Felt almost constrained to go the whole 
length of his system with him. If it were only to raise up an 
audience, it would be defensible ; but when it is to raise up teach- 
ers it is more than defensible. I am now made willing, if God 
shall open the w\ay, to go to India. Here am I ; send me !" 

The missionary feeling in his soul continued all his lile. The 
Lord had really made him willing; and this preparedness to go 
anyw'here completed his preparation for unselfish, self-denied work 
at home. Must there not be somewhat of this missionary ten- 
dency in all true ministers ? Is any one truly the Lord's messen- 
ger who is not quite willing lo go when and where the Lord 
calls ? Is it justifiable in any to put aside a call from the north, 
on the ground that he wishes one from the south ? We must 
be found in the position of Isaiah, if we are to be really sent of 

"April 24. — O that this day's labor may be blessed ! and not 
mine alone, but all thy faithful servants all over the world, till llty 


" April 26. — Visiting in Carron-shore. Well received every- 
where. Truly a pleasant labor. Cheered me much. Preached 
to them afterwards from Proverbs i." 

" May 8. — Communion in Larbert. Served as an elder and 
help to the faithful. Partook w^ith some glimpses of faith and joy. 
Served by a faithful old minister (Mr. Dempster of Denny), one 
taught of God. This morning stood by the dying — evening, 
stood by the dead, poor J. F. having died last night. I laid my 
hand on her cold forehead, and tried to shut her eyes. Lord give 
me strength for living to thee ! — strength also for the dying hour." 

" May 15. — This day an annular eclipse of the sun. Kept both 
the services together in order to be in time. Truly a beautiful 
sight to see the shining edge of the sun all round the dark disc of 
the moon. Lord, one day thy hand shall put out those candles ; 
for there shall be no need of the sun to lighten the happy land ; 
the Lamb is the light thereof — a sun that cannot be eclipsed — that 
cannot go dow^n." 

"May 17. — Visited thirteen families, and addressed them all in 
the evening in the school, on Jeremiah 1. 4, ' Going and weeping.' 
Experienced some enlargement of soul ; said some plain things ; 
and had some desire for their salvation, that God might be 

"May 21. — Preparation for the Sabbath. My birth day. I 
have lived twenty-three years. Blessed be my Rock. Though 
I am a child in knowledge of my Bible and Thee, yet use me for 
what a child can do, or a child can suffer. How few sufferings I 
have had in the year that is past, except in my own body. Oh ! 
that as my day is my strength may be. Give me strength for a 
suffering, and for a dying hour !" 

" May 22. — O Lord, when thou workest, all discouragements 
vanish — when thou art away, anything is a discouragement. 
Blessed be God for such a day — one of a thousand. O why not 
always this 1 Watch and pray." 

Being in Edinburgh this month, during the sitting of the General 
Assembly, he used the opportunity of revisiting some of his for- 
mer charge in the Cannongate. " J. S., a far-off inquirer, but 
surely God is leading. His hand draws out these tears. Inter- 
esting visits to L. ; near death, and still in the same mind. I can- 
not but hope that some faith is here. Saw Mrs. M. ; many tears: 
felt much, though I am still doubtful and in the dark. Thou 
knowest, Lord!" 

" June 11. — Yesterday up in Dunipace. It would seem as if I 
were afraid to name the name of Christ. Saw many w^orldly 
people greatly needing a word in season, yet could not get up my 
heart to speak. What I did failed almost completely. I am not 
worthy. Lord ! To-day sought to prepare my heart for the coming 
Sabbath. After the example of Boston, whose life I have been 
reading, examined my heart with prayer and fasting. 1. Does 


my heart really close with the offer of salvation by Jesus? Is it 
my choice to be saved in the way which gives him all the praise, 
and me none? Do I not only see it to be the Bible way of salva- 
tion, but does it cordially approve itself to my heart as deliglilfull 
Lord search me and try me, for I cannot but answer, Yes, yes. 
' 2. Is it the desire of my heart to be made altogether holy? 
Is there any sin I wish to retain ? Is sin a grief to me, the sud- 
den risings and overcomings thereof especially ? Lord, thou know- 
est all things — thou knowest that I hate all sin, and desire to be 
made altogether like thee. It is the sweetest word in the Bible — 
*Sin shall not have dominion over you.' O then that I might lie 
lower in the dust — the lower the better — that Jesus' righteousness 
and Jesus' strength alone be admired. Felt much deadness and 
much grief, that I cannot grieve for this deadness. Towards 
evening revived. Got a calm spirit through psalmody and prayer." 

"June 12 — Sabbath. — To-day a sinner preached Jesus, the 
same Jesus who has done all things for him, and that so lutely ! 
A day of much help, of some earnest looking-up of the heart to 
that alone quickening power, of much temptation to flattery and 
pride. O for breathing gales of spiritual life ! Evening — Some- 
what helped to lay Jesus before little children in his beauty and 
excellency. Much fatigue, yet some peace. Surely a day in thy 
courts is better than a thousand." 

"May 15. — Day of visiting — rather a happy one — in Carron- 
shore. Large meeting in the evening. Felt very happy after it, 
though mourning for hitter speaking of the gospel. Surely it is a 
gentle message, and should be spoken with angelic tenderness, 
especially by such a needy sinner." 

Of this bitterness in preaching, he had little indeed in after days ; 
yet so sensible was he of its being quite natural to all of us, that 
oftentimes he made it the subject of conversation, and used to 
grieve over himself if he had spoken with any thing less than 
solemn compassion. I remember on one occasion, when we met, 
he asked what my last Sabbath's subject had been. It had been, 
" The wicked shall be turned into hell." On heari^ig this awlul 
text, he asked, " Were you able to preach it with tenderness?" 
Certain it is that the tone of reproach and upbraiding is widely 
different from the voice of solemn warning. It is not saying hard 
things that pierces the conscience of our people; it is the voice of 
Divine love heard amid the thunder. The sharpest point ot' the! 
^wo-edged sword is not death but life ; and against self-righteous | 
rsouls this latter ought to be more used than the i'ormer. For such 
souls can hear us tell of the open gates of hell and the unquench- 
able fire far more unconcernedly than of the gates of heaven wide- 
open for their immediate return. When we preach that the glad-\ 
(tidings t/)6Te intended to impart immediate assurance of eternal} 
life to every sinner that believes them, we strike deeper upon the! 


proud enmity of the world to God, than when we show the eter- 
nal curse and the second death. 

'•June 19 — Sabbath. — Wet mornins;. Preached at Dunipaceta 
a small audience, on Parable of the Tares. I thank God for that 

blessed pnrable. In both discourses I can look back on many 

hateful thoughts of pride, and self-admiration, and love of praise, 
stealing the heart out of the service." " June 22. — Carron-shore. 
My last. Some tears ; yet I fear some like the messenger, not the 
message ; and I fear I am so vain as to love that love. Lord, let 
it not be so. Perish my honor, but let Thim be exalted for ever." 

" June 26 — True Sabbnth-day. Golden sky. Full church, and 
more liveliness than sometimes. Shall I call the liveliness of this 
day a gale of the Spirit, or was all natural? I know that all vv^as 
not of grace: the self-admiration, the vanity, the desire of honor, 
the bitterness — these were all breaths of earth or hell. But was 
there no grace ? Lord, thou knowest. I dare not wrong thee by 
saying — No ! Larbert Sabbath-school, with the same liveliness 
and joy. Domestic work with the same. Praised be God ! O 
that the savor of it may last through the week ! By this may I 
test if it be all of nature, or much of grace. Alas ! how I trem- 
ble for my Monday mornings — those seasons of lifelessness. Lord, 
bless the seeds sown this day m the hearts of my friends, by the 
hand of my friends, and all over the world, — hasten the harvest !" 

"July 3. — After a week of working and hurried preparation, a 
Sabbath of mingled peace and pain. Called, morning before 
preaching, to see Mrs. E. dying. Preached on the Jailor — dis- 
composedly — with some glimpses of the genuine truth as it is in 
Jesus. Felt there was much mingling of experience. At times 
the congregation was lightened up from their dull flatness, and 
then they sunk again into lethargy. O Lord, make me hang on 
thee to open their hearts, thou opener of Lydia's heart. I fear 
thou wilt not bless my preaching, until I am brought thus to hang 
on thee. O keep not back a blessing for my sin ! Afternoon — On 
the Highway of the Redeemed, with more ease and comfort. 
Felt the truth sometimes boiling up from my heart into my words. 
Some, glimpses of tenderness, yet much less of that spirit than the 
last two Sabbaths. Again saw the dying woman. O when will 
1 plead, with my tears and inward yearnings, over sinners ! O, 
compassionate Lord, give me to know what manner of spirit I am 
of! give me thy gentle spirit,, that neither strives nor cries. Much 
weariness, want of prayerfulness, and want of cleaving to Christ." 
Tuesday the 5th. being the anniversary of his license to preach the 
Gospel, he writes: — '• Eventful week: one year I have preached 
Jesus have I ? or myself? I have often preached myself also, but 
Jesus I have preached." 

About this time he again felt the hand of affliction, though it 
did not continue long. Yet it was plain to him now that personal 


trouble was to be one of the ingredients of that experience which 
helped to give a peculiar tone to his ministry. 

*' Jidy 8, — Since Tuesday have been laid up with illness. Set 
by once more for a season to feel my unprofitableness and cure 
my pride. When shall this self-clioosing temper be healed? 
* Lord, I will preach, run, visit, wrestle,' said I. ' No, thou shall 
lie in thy bed and suffer,' said the Lord. To-day missed some 
fine opportunities of speaking a word for Christ. The Lord saw 
I would have spoken as much for my own honor as his, and there- 
fore, shut my mouth. / see a man cannot be a faithful minister, 
until he jireaches Christ for Christ's sake — until he gives up 
striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract 
them to Christ. Lord, give me this ! To-night some glimpses of 
humbling ; and therefore, some wrestling in social prayer. But 
my prayers are scarcely to be called prayer." Then, in the even- 
ing, " This day my brother has been five years absent from the 
body and present with the Lord, and knows more and loves more 
than all earthly saints together. Till the Day break and the sha- 
dows flee away, turn, my Beloved !" 

" July 10. — I fear I am growing more earthly in some things. 
To-day I felt a ditficulty in bringing in spiritual conversation im- 
mediately after preaching, when my bosom should be burning. 
Excused myself from dining out from other than the grand rea- 
son ; though checked and corrected myself. Evening — Insensibly 
slid into worldly conversation. Let these things be corrected in 
me, O Lord, by the heart being more filled with love to Jesus ; 
and more ejaculatory prayer." 

"July 17. — Sabbath. — O that I may remember my own word 
this day; that the hour of communion is the hour for the foxes — 
the little foxes — to spoil the wine. Two things that defile this 
day in looking back, are love of praise running through all, and 
consenting to listen to worldy talk at all. O that these may keep 
me humble and be my burden, leading me to the cross. Then, 
Satan, thou wilt be outwitted 1" 

"July 19. — Died, this day, W. M'Cheyne, my cousin-german, 
Relief minister, Kelso. O how I repent of our vain controversies 
on Establishments when we last met, and that we spoke so little 
of Jesus. O that we had spoken more one to another. Lord, 
teach me to be always sj)eaking as dying to dying." 

"July 21. — Dunipace Communion. — Heard jMr. Purves of Jed- 
burgh preach, ' Ti\erefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the 
wells of salvatioiY. The only way to come to ordinances, and to 
draw from the well, is to come with the matter of acceptance 
settled, believing God's anger to be turned away. Truly a pre- 
cious view of the freeness of the gospel very refreshing. JMy soul 
needs to be roused much to apprehend this truth." 

Above (July 3.) he spoke of "mingling experience with the 
genuine truth as it is in Jesus." It is to this that lie refers again 


in the last paragraph. His deep acquaintance with the human 
heart and passions often led him to dwell at greater length, not 
only on those topics whereby the sinner might be brought to dis- 
cover his guilt, but also on marks that would evidence a change, 
than on " the Glad Tidings." And yet he ever felt that these 
blessed tidings, addressed to souls in the very gall of bitterness, 
were the true theme of the minister of Christ ; and never did he 
preach other than a full salvation ready for the chief of sinners. 
From the very first also, he carefully avoided the error of those 
who rather speculate or doctrinize about the Gospel, than preach 
the Gospel itself Is not the true idea of preaching that of one, 
like Ahimaaz, coming with all-important tidings, and intent on 
making these tidings known ? Occupied with the facts he has to 
tell, he has no heart to speculate on mere abstractions ; nay, he is 
apt to forget what language he employs, excepting so far as the 
very grandeur of the tidings gives a glow of eloquence to his words. 
The glorious fact, " By this man is preached unto you the forgive- 
ness of sins" is the burden of every sermon. The crier is sent 
to the openings of the gate by his Lord — to herald forth this one 
infinitely important truth through the whole creation under heaven. 

He seems invariably to have applied for his personal benefit what 
he gave out to his people. We have already noticed how he 
used to feed on the Word, not in order to prepare himself for his 
people, but for personal edification. To do so was a fundamental 
rule with him ; and all pastors will feel that, if they are to pros- 
per in their own souls, they must so use the word — sternly re- 
fusing to admit the idea of feeding others, until satiated them- 
selves. And for similar ends, it is needful that we let the truth 
we hear preached sink down into our own souls. We, as well as 
our people, must drink in the falling shower. Mr. M'Cheyne did 
so. It is common to find him speaking thus: — "July 31, Sabbath 
— Afternoon, on Judas betraying Christ ; much more tenderness 
than ever I felt before. O that I might abide in the bosom of him 
who washed Judas' feet, and dipped his hand in the same dish 
with him, and warned him, and grieved over him — that I might 
catch the infection of his love, of his tenderness, so wonderful, so 

Coming home on a Sabbath evening (Aug. 7th) from Torwood 
Sabbath-school, a person met him who suggested an opportunity 
of usefulness. There were two families of gypsies encamped at 
Torwood, within his reach. He was weary with a long day's 
labor ; but instantly, as was his custom on such a call, set off" to 
find them. By the side of their wood-fire, he opened out the para- 
ble of the Lost Sheep, and pressed it on their souls in simple terms. 
He then knelt down in prayer for them, and left them somewhat 
mp ressed and very grateful. 

At this time a youthful parishioner, for whose soul he felt much 
anxiety, left his father's roof. Ever watchful for souls, he seized 


this opportunity of laying before him more fully the things belong- 
ing to Wis peace. 

"Lakbkht, August 8, 183G 

" My dear G , You will be surprised to hear from me. I 

have often wished to be better acquainted with you ; but in these 
sad parishes we cannot manage to Kikav and be intimate vv th 
every one we would desire. And now you iiave lelt your father's 
roof and our charge; still my desii'es go alter you, as well as the 
kind thoughts of many others ; and since 1 cannot row speak to 
you, I take this way of expressing my thoughts to you. 1 do not 
know in what light you look upon me, whether as a grave and 
morose minister, or as one who might be a companion and friend ; 
but. really, it is so short a while since I was just like you, when I 
enjoyed the games, which you now enjoy, and read the books 
which you now read, that I never can Ihuik of myself as anything 
more than a boy. This is one great reason why I write to you. 
"i'lie same youthful blood flows in my veins that flows in yours — 
the same fancies and buoyant passions dance in my bosom as in 
yours — so that, when I would persuade you to come with me to 
the same Saviour, and to walk the rest of your life 'led by the 
Spirit of God,' I am not posuiding you to anything beyond yc'Ur 
years. I am not like a greyheaded grandfather — then you might 
answer all I say by telling me that you are a boy. No ; I am al- 
most as much a boy as you are; as fond of happiness and of life 
as you are ; as fond of scampering over the Inlls, and seeing all 
that is to be seen, as you are. 

" Another thing that persuades me to write you, my dear bo}'-, 
is, that I have lelt in my own expej-ience the want of having a 
friend to direct and counsel me. 1 had a kind brother as you have, 
who taught me many th ngs : he gave me a B.ble, and persuaded 
me to read it; he tried to train me as a gardener trams the apple- 
tree upon the wall, but all in vain. I thought myself far Wiser 
than he, and would ahvays take my own way ; and many a time, 
I well remember, I have seen him reading his Bible, or shutting 
his closet door to pray, when I have (<een dressing to go to some 
frolic, or some dance of folly. Well this dear I'ricnd and brother 
died ; and though his death made a greater impression upon me 
than ever his life had done, still I found the miseiy of he'mg Jric7i(l- 
Icss. 1 do not mean that I had no relations and worldly I'riends, 
fo)- I had many ; but I had no friend ii^lio cared for my soul. I 
had none to direct me to the Saviour — none to awaken my slum- 
bering conscience — none to tell me about the blood of Jesus wash- 
ing away all sin — none to tell me of the Spirit who is so will ng 
to change the heart, and give the victory over passions. I had 
no minister to take me by the hand, and say, ' Come with me, 
and we will do thee good.' Yes, 1 had one fjiend and minister, 
but that was Jesus himself, and he led me in away that makes me 
give him, and him only, all the praise. Now, though Jesus nuw 


do this again, yet the more common way with him is to use enrth- 
ly guides. Now, if I could supply the place of such a guide to 
you, I should be happy. To be a finger-post is all that I want to 
be — pointing out the way. This is what I so much wanted my- 
self — this is what you need not want, unless you wish. 

" Tell me, dear G., would you work less pleasantly through the 
day — would you walk the streets with a more doleful step — would 
you eit your meat with less gladness of heart — would yon sleep 
less tranquilly at night, if you had the forgiveness of sins — that is, 
if all your wicked thoughts and deeds — lies, thefts, and Sabbath- 
breik ngs — were all blotted out of God's book of remembrance? 
Would this make you less happy do you th'.nk? You dare not 
say it would. But would the forgiveness of s!ns not make you 
more happy than you are? Perhaps you will tell me that you 
are very happy as you are. I quite believe you. I know that 
I was very happy when I was unforgiven. I know that I had 
great pleasure in many sins — in Sabbath-break ng for instance. 
Many a delightful walk I have had — speak'ng my own words, 
thinking my own thoughts, and seeking my own pleasure on God's 
holy day. I fancy lew boys were ever happier in an unconver- 
ted state than I was. No sorrow clouded my brow — no tears 
filled my eyes, unless over some nice story-book ; so that I know 
th .t you say quite true, when you say that you are happy as you 
are. But ah I is not this just the saddest thing of all, that you 
should be happy whilst you are a chdd of wrath — that you should 
smile, and eat, and drink, and be merry, and sleep sound, when 
this very night you may be in liell? Happy while unforgiven 1 — 
a terrible happiness. It is like the Hindoo widow who s.ts apon 
the funeral pile with her dead husband, and sings songs of joy 
when they are setting fire to the wood with which she is to be 
bui-ned. Yes, you may be quite happy in this way, till you die, 
my boy; but when you look back from hell, you will say, it was 
a miserable kind of happiness.. Now, do you think it would not 
give you more happiness to be forgiven — to be able to put on 
Jesus, and say, 'God's anger is turned away?' Would not you 
be happier at work, and happier in the house, and happier in your 
bed \ I can assure you, from all that ever I have felt of it"^ the 
pleasures of being forgiven are as superior to the pleasures of an 
unfa-given man, as heaven is higher than hell. The peace of 
being forgiven reminds me of the calm, blue sky, which no earth- 
ly clamors can disturb. It lightens all labor, sweetens every 
morsel of bread, and makes a sick bed all soft and do„„y— ye?., 
it takes away the scowl of death. Now, forgiveness may be 
yours now. It is not given to those who are good. It is not 
given to any because they are less wicked than others. It is 
given only to those who, feeling that their sins have brought a 
curse on them which they cannot lift off, ' look unto Jesus,' as bear- 
ing all away. 


"Now, my clear boy, I have no wish to weary you. If you are 
anything hke what I was, you will have yawned many a time 
already over tliis letter. However, if the Lord deal graciously 
■with you, and touch your young heart, as I pray he may, with a 
desire to be forgiven, and to be made a child of God, perhaps you 
will not take ill what I have written to you in much haste. Ay 
this is the first time you Mave been away from home, perhaps you 
have not learned to write letters yet ; but if you have, I would 
like to hear from you, how you come on — what convictions yoia 
feel, if you feel any — what difficulties — what parts of the Bible 
puzzle you ; and then I would do my best to unravel them. You 
read your Bible regularly, of course ; but do try and understand 
it, and still more, to feel it. Read more parts than one at a time. 
For example, if you are reading Genesis, read a Psalm also; or, 
if you are reading Matthew, read a small bit of an epistle also. 
Turn the Bible into prayer. Thus, if you were reading the 1st 
Psalm, spread the Bible on the chair before you, and kneel and 
pray, ' O Lord, give me the blessedness of the man,' &c. ' Let 
me not stand in the counsel of the ungodly,' &c. This is the best 
way of knowing the meaning of the Bible, and of learning to pray. 
In prayer confess your sins by name — going over those of the 
past day one by one. Pray for your friends by name — father, 
mother, &c. &c. If you love them, surely you will pray for their 
souls. I know well that there are prayers constantly ascending 
for you from your own house ; and will you not pray for them 
back again? Do this regularly. If you pray sincerely for others, 
it will make you pray for yourself. 

" But I must be done. Good bye, dear G. Remember me to 
your brother kindly, and believe me your sincere friend. 

" R. M. M." 

It is the shepherd's duty, (Ezek. xxxiv. 4,) in visiting his flock, to 
discriminate ; " strengthening the diseased, healing that which was 
sick, binding up that which was broken, bringing again that which 
was driven away, seeking that which was lost." This Mr. 
M'Cheyne tried to do. In an after-letter to Mr. Somerville, of An- 
derston, in reference to the people of these i)arishes, whom he had 
had means of knowing, he wrote, " Take more heed to the saints 
than ever I did. Speak a word in season to S. M. S. II. will 
drink in simple truth, but tell him to be humble-minded. Cause 
L. H. to learn in silence ; speak not of religion to her, but speak 
to her case always. Teach A. M. to look simply at Jesus. 
J. A. warn and teach. Get worldliness from the B.'s if you can. 
Mrs. G. awake, or keep awake. Speak faithfully to the B.'s. Tell 
me of M. C., if she is really a believer, and grows. A. K., has 
the light visited her? M. T. I have had some doubts of. M. G. 
lies sore upon my conscience ; I did no good to that woman ; she 
always managed to speak of things about the truth. Speak 


boldly. What matter in eternity the slight awkwardness of 
time !" 

It was about this time that the managers and congregation of 
the new Church, St. Peter's, Dundee, invited him to preach as one 
of the candidates ; and, in the end of August, chose him to be 
their pastor, with one accord. He accepted the call under an 
awful sense of the work that lay before him. He would rather, 
he said, have made choice for himself of such a rural parish as 
Dunipace ; but the Lord seemed to desire it otherwise. " His 
ways are in the sea." More than once, at a later period, he would 
say, '• We might have thought that God would have sent a strong 
man to such a parish as mine, and not a feeble reed." 

The first day he preached in St. Peter's as a candidate (August 
Hth), is thus recorded: "Forenoon — Mind not altogether in a 
preaching frame ; on the Sower. Afternoon — With more encou- 
ragement and help of the Spirit; on the Voice of the Beloved, in 
Cant, ii, 8-14.* In the Evening — With all my heart ; on Ruth. 
Lord, keep me humble." Returning from St. Peter's, the second 
time, he observed in his class of girls at Dunipace more than 
usual anxiety. One of them seemed to be thoroughly awakened 
that evening. " Thanks be to thee, Lord, for anything," he writes 
that evening ; for as yet he had sown without seeing fruit. It 
seems to have been part of the Lord's dealing with him, thus to 
teach him to persevere in duty and in faith, even where there was 
no obvious success. The arrow that was yet to wound hundreds 
was then receiving its point ; but it lay in the quiver for a time. 
The Lord seemed to be touchinor his own heart and meltine: it bv 
what he spoke to others, rather than touching or melting the 
hearts of those he spoke to. But from the day of his preaching in 
St. Peter's, tokens of success began. His first day there, espe- 
cially the evening sermon on Ruth, was blessed to two souls in 
Dundee ; and now he sees souls begin to melt under his last 
words in the parish where he thought he had hitherto spent his 
strength in vain. 

As he was now to leave this sphere, he sought out with deep 

anxiety a laborer who would help their overburdened pastor, in 

true love to the people's souls. He believed he had found such a 

laborer in Mr. Somerville, his friend who had shared his every 

thought and feeling in former days, and who, with a sharp sickle 

in his hand, was now advancing toward the harvest field. " I see 

plainly," he wrote to Mr. Bonar, "that my poor attempts at labor 

in your dear parish will soon be eclipsed. But if at length the 

iron front of unbelief give way, if the hard faces become furrowed 

with the tears of anxiety and of faith, under whatever ministry, 

you will rejoice, and I will rejoice, and the angels, and the Father 

and God of angels, \\[\\ rejoice." It was in this spirit that he 

closed his short ten months of labor in this region. 

* See this characteristic sermon in the Remains 
VOL. I. 4 


His last sermons to the people of Larbert and Dunipace were 
on Hosea xiv. 1, " O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God ;" and 
Jeremiah viii. 20, " Harvest is past " In the evening he writes, 
" Lord, I fee! bowed down because of the little I have done for 
them which tiiou niightest have blessed ! My bowels yearn 
over them, and all the more that I have done so little. Indeed I 
might have done ten times as much as I have done. I might have 
been in every house ; I might have spoken always as a minister. 
Lord, canst thou bless partial, unequal efforts ?" 

I believe it was about this time that some of us first of all beoran 
our custom of praying specially for each other on Saturday eve- 
ning, with a reference to our engagements in the ministry next 
day. This concert for prayer we have never since seen cause to 
discontinue. It has from time to time been widened in its circle ; 
and as yet his has been the only voice that has been silenced of 
all that thus began to go in on each other's behalf before the Lord. 
Mr. M'Cheyne never failed to remember this time of prayer. 
" Larbert and Dunipace are always on my heart, especially on the 
Saturday evenings, when I pray for a glorious Sabbath !" On 
one occasion, in Dundee, he was asked if the accumulation of 
business in his parish never led him to neglect the season of 
prayer on a busy Saturday ? his reply was, that he was not aware 
that it ever did. "What would my people do if I were not to 

So steady was he in Sabbath preparations, from the first day to 
the last time he was with them, that though at prayer meetings, or 
similar occasions, he did not think it needful to have much laid up 
belbre coming to address his people ; yet, anxious to give them on 
the Sabbath what had cost him somewhat, he never, without an 
urgent reason, went before them without much previous medita- 
tion and jjrayer. His principle on this subject was embodied in a 
reinark he made to soinc of us who were conversing on the mat- 
ter. Being asked his view of diligent preparation Ibr the pulpit, 
he reminded us of Exodus xxvii. 20. " Beaten oil — beaten oil for 
the lamps of the sanctuary." And yet his prayerfulness was 
greater still. Indeed, he could not neglect fellowship with God 
belif>re entering the congregation. He needed to be bathed in the 
love of God. His ministry was so much a bringing out of views 
that had first sanctifie;! his own soul, that the healthiness of his 
soul was absolutely needful to the vigor and power of his minis- 

During these ten months the Lord had done much fur him, but 
it was chiefly in the way of discipline for a future ministry. He 
iiad been taught a minister's heart ; he had been tried in the fur- 
nace ; he had tasted deep personal sorrow, little of which has 
been recorded ; he had felt the fiery darts of temptation; he had 
been exercised in sell-examination and in much prayer; he had 
proved how flinty is the rock, and had learnt that in lifting the rod 


by which it was to be smitten, success lay in Him alone who ena- 
bled him to lift it up. And thus prepared of God for the peculiar 
work that awaited him, he turned his face towards Dundee, and 
took up his abode in the spot where the Lord was so marvellously 
to visit him in his ministry. 



" Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been wi'h you at 
all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations."— 

The day on which he was ordained pastor of a flock, was a 
day of much anxiety to his soul. He had journeyed by Perth to 
spend the night preceding under the roof of his kind friend Mr. 
Grierson, in the manse of Errol. Next morning, ere he left the 
manse, three passages of Scripture occupied his mind. 1. " Thou 
shall keep him in perfect peace lohose mind is stayed on thee; he- 
cause he trusleth in thee." Isaiah xxvi. 3. This verse was sea- 
sonable ; for, as he sat meditating on the solemn duties of the day, 
his heart trembled. 2. ''Give thyself wholly to these things." 
1 Tim. iv. 15. May that word (he prayed) sink deep into my heart. 

3. " Here am I. send me." Isaiah vi. 8. " To go, or to stay to 

be here till death, or to visit foreign shores — whatsoever, where- 
soever, whensoever thou pleasest." He rose from his knees with 
the prayer, " Lord, may thy grace come with the laying on of the 
hands of the Presbytery." 

He was ordained on November 24, 1836. The service was 
conducted by Mr. Roxburgh of St. John's, through whose exer- 
tions the new church had been erected, and who ever afterwards 
cherished the most cordial friendship towards him. On the Sab- 
bath following, he was introduced to his flock by Mr. John Bonar 
of Larbert, with whom he had labored as a son in the Gospel. 
Himself preached in the afternoon upon Isaiah Ixi. 1-3, " The \ 
spirit of the Lord is upon me," &c. — of which he writes, " May 
it be prophetic of the object of my coming here !" And truly it I 
was so. That very sermon — the first preached by him as a pastor 
— was the means of awakening souls, as he afterwards learnt ; 
and ever onward the impressions left by his words seemed to 
spread and deepen among his people. To keep up the remem- 
Drance of this solemn day, he used in all the subsequent years of 
his ministry to preach from this same text on the anniversary of his 


ordination.* In the evening of that day, Mr. Bonar again preach- 
ed on " These times of refreshing." " A noble sermon, showing 
the marks of such times. Ah ! when shall we have them here ? 
Lord bless this word, to help their coming ! Put thy blessing 
upon this day ! Felt given over to God, as one bought with a 

There was a rapid growth in his soul, perceptible to all who 
knew him well, from this time. Even his pulpit preparations, he 
used to say, became easier from this date. He had earnestly 
sought that the day of his ordination might be a time of new 
grace ; he expected it would be so ; and there was a peculiar 
work to be done by his hands, for which the Holy Spirit did 
speedily prepare him. 

His diary does not contain much of his feelings during his resi- 
dence in Dundee. His incessant labors left him little time, except 
what he scrupulously spent in the direct exercises of devotion. 
But what we have seen of his manner of study and self-examina- 
tion at Larbert, is sufficient to show in what a constant state of 
cultivation his soul was kept ; and his habits in these respects con- 
tinued with him to the last. Jeremy Taylor recommends — " If 
thou meanest to enlarge thy religion, do it rather by enlarging thine 
ordinary devotions than thy extraordinary." This advice de- 
scribes very accurately the plan of spiritual life on which Mr. 
M'Cheyne acted. He did occasionally set apart seasons for spe- 
cial prayer and fasting, occupying the time so set apart exclusively 
in devotion. But the i-eal secret of his soul's prosperity lay in the 
daily enlargement of his heart in fellowship with God. And the 
river deepened as it flowed on to eternity ; so that he at least 
reached that feature of a holy pastor which Paul pointed out to 
Timothy (iv. 15) — " His profiting did appear to all." 

In his own house everything was fitted to make you feel that 
the service of God was a cheerful service, while he sought that 
every arrangement of the family should bear upon eternity. His 
morning hours were set apart for the nourishment of his own soul ; 
not, however, with the view of laying up a stock of grace for the 
rest of the day — for manna will corrupt if laid by — but rather 
with the view of " giving the eye the habit of looking upward all 
the day, and drawing down beams from the reconciled counte- 
nance." He was s[)aring in the hours devoted to sleep, and reso- 
lutely secured time for devotion before breakfast, although often 
wearied and exhausted when he laid himself to rest. " A soldier 
of the cross," was his remark, " must endure hardness." Often 
he sang a Psalm of praise, as soon as he arose, to stir up his soul. 
Three chapters of the Word was his usual morning portion. This 
he thought little enough, for he delighted exceedingly in the Scrip- 
tures : they were better to him than thousands of gold or silver 

• " The Acceptable Year of the Lord" waa one of these Anniversary Sermons, 
preached November, 1S40. 


" When you write," said he to a friend, " tell me the meaning of 
Scriptures." To another, in expressing his value for the Word, 
he said, "One gem from that ocean is worth all the pebbles of 
earthly streams." 

His chief season of relaxation seemed to be breakfast-time. He 
would come down with a happy countenance and a full soul ; and 
after the sweet season of family prayer, forthwith commence form- 
ing plans for the day. When he was well, nothing seemed to 
afford him such true delight as to have his hands full of work. 
Indeed, it was often remarked that in him you found — what yoi; 
rarely meet with — a man of high poetic imagination and deef 
devotion, who nevertheless was engaged unceasingly in the busi- 
est and most laborious activities of his office. 

His friends could observe how much his soul was engrossed 
during his times of study and devotion. If interrupted on such 
occasions, though he never seemed ruffled, yet there was a kind 
of gravity and silence that implied — " I wish to be alone." Bui 
he farther aimed at enjoying God all the day. And referring on 
one occasion to those blank hours which so often are a believer's 
burden — hours during which the soul is dry and barren — he ob- 
served, " They are proofs of how little we are filled with the 
presence of God, how little We are branch-like* in our faith." 

This careful attention to the frame of his spirit did not hinder 
his preparation for his people : on the contrary, it kept alive his 
deep conscientiousness, and kept his warm compassion ever yearn- 
ing. When asked to observe a Saturday as a day of fasting and 
prayei', along with some others who had a special object in view, 
he replied — " Saturday is an awkward day for ministers ; for 
though I love to seek help from on High, I love also diligently to 
set my thoughts in order for the Sabbath. I sometimes fear that 
you fail in this latter duty." 

During his first years in Dundee, he often rode out in an after- 
noon to the ruined church of Invergowrie, to enjoy an hour's per- 
fect solitude ; for he felt meditation and prayer to be the very 
sinews of his work. Such notices, also, as the following show 
his systematic pursuit of personal holiness: 

"April 9, 1837 — Evening. — Avery pleasant quietness. Study 
of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Came to a more intelligent view 
of the first six chapters than ever before. Much refreshed by 
John Newton ; instructed by Edwards. Help and freedom in 
prayer. Lord, what a happy season is a Sabbath evening ! What 
will Heaven be !" 

"April 16 — Sabbath Evenmg. — Much prayer and peace. 
Reading the Bible only." 

" June 2. — Much peace and rest to-night. Much broken under 
a sense of my exceeding wickedness, which no eye can see but 
thine. Much persuasion of the sufficiency of Christ, and ot the 
* Compare Zechariah iv. 12, with John xv. 5t 


constancy of his love. O how svi^eet to work all day for God, 
and then to lie down at night under his smiles." 

" June 17, 1838. — At Dumbarney communion. Much sin and 
coldness two days before. Lay low at his feet ; found peace 
only in Jesus." 

"September 25. — Spent last week at Blairgowrie ; I hope not 
in vain. Much sin, weakness, and uselessness ; much delight in 
the Word also, while opening it up at family prayer. May God 
make the Word fire. Opened 1 Thessalonians, the whole ; en- 
riching to my own mind. How true is Psalm i. ; yet observed 
in my heart a strange proneness to be entangled with the affairs 
of this life ; not strange because I am good, but because I have 
been so often taught that bitterness is the end of it." 

" Sept. 27. — Devoted chief part of Friday to fasting. Humbled 
and refreshed." 

" Sept. 30 — Sabbath. — Very happy in my work. Too little 
prayer in the morning. Must try to get early to bed on Satur- 
day, that I may 'rise a great while before day.'" These early 
hours of prayer on Sabbath he endeavored to have all his life ; 
not for study, but for prayer. He never labored at his sermons 
on a Sabbath. That day he kept for its original end, the refresh- 
ment of his soul. (Exodus, xxxi. 17.) 

The parish of St. Peter's, to which he had come, was large and 
very destitute. It is situated at the west end of the town, and in- 
cluded some part of the adjacent country. The church was built 
in connection with the Church Extension Scheme. The parish 
was a quoad sacra parish, detached from St. John's. It contains 
a population of 4000 souls, very many of whom never crossed the 
threshold of any sanctuary. His congregation amounted, at the 
very outset, to about 1100 hearers, one-third of whom came from 
distant parts of the town. 

Here was a wide field for parochial labor. It was also a very 
dead region — few, even of those who were living Christians, 
breathing their life on others ; for the surrounding mass of impen- 
etrable heathenism had cast its sad influence even over them. 
His first impressions of Dundee were severe. " A city given to 
idolatry and hardness of heart. I fear there is much of what 
Isaiah speaks of, ' The prophets prophesy lies, and the people love 
to have it so.' " 

His first months of labor were very trying. He was not strong 
in bodily health, and that winter a fatal influenza prevailed for two 
or three months, so that most of his time in his parish was spent 
in visiting the sick and dying. In such cases he was always 
ready. " Did I tell you of the boy I was asked to see on Sabbath 
evening, just when I had got myself comfortably seated at home ? 
I went and was speaking to him of the freeness and fulness of 
Jesus, when he gasped a little and died." 

In one of his first visits to the sick, the narrative of the Lord's 


singular dealings with one of his parishioners greatly encouraged 
him to carry the glad tidings to the distressed under every disad- 
vantage. Four years before, a young woman had been seized 
with cholera, and was deprived of the use of speech for a whole 
year. The Bible was read to her, and men of God used to speak 
and pray with her. At the end of the year her tongue was loosed, 
and the first words heard from her lips were praise and thanks- 
giving for what the Lord had done for her soul. It was in her 
chamber he was now standing, hearing from her own Hps what 
the Lord had wrought. 

On another occasion, during the first year of his ministry, he 
witnessed the death-bed conversion of a man who, till within a 
few days of his end, almost denied that there was a God. This 
solid conversion, as he believed it to be, stirred him up to speak 
with all hopefulness, as well as earnestness, to the dying. 

But it was, above all, to the children of God that his visitations 
seemed blessed. His voice, and his very eye, spoke tenderness ; 
for personal affliction had taught him to feel sympathy with the 
sorrowing. Though the following be an extract from a letter, 
yet it will be recognized by many as exhibiting his mode of deal- 
ing with God's afflicted ones in his visitations : " There is a sweet 
word in Exodus (iii. 7), which was pointed out to me the other 
day by a poor bereaved child of God — ' J know their sorrows.' 
Study that ; it fills the soul. Another word like it is in Psalm ciii. 
14 — ' He knoweth our frame.' May your own soul, and that of 
your dear friends, be fed by these things. A dark hour makes 
Jesus bright. Another sweet word — ' They knew not that it was 

I find some specimens of his sick visits among his papers, noted 
down at a time when his work had not grown upon his hands. 
"January 25, 1837 — Visited Mt. M'Bain, a young woman of 
twenty-four, long ill of decline. Better or worse these ten years 
past. Spoke of' TJlc one thing needful,^ plainly. She sat quiet. 
February 14th — Had heard she was better — found her near dying. 
Spoke plainly and tenderly to her, commending Christ. Used 
many texts. She put out her hand kindly on leaving. 15th — 
Still dying like ; spoke as yesterday. She never opened her eyes. 
16th — Showed her the dreadfulness of wrath ; freeness of Christ; 
the majesty, justice, truth of God. Poor M. is fast going the way 
whence she shall not return. Many neighbors also always gather 
hi. 17th — Read Psalm xxii. ; showed the sufferings of Christ; 
how sufficient an atonement ; how feeling a high priest. She 
breathed loud, and groaned through pain. Died this evening at 
seven. I hardly ever heard her speak anything; and I will hope 
that thou art with Christ in Glory, till I go and see. 20th — Pray- 
ed at her funeral. Saw her laid in St. Peter's churchyard, the 
first laid there, by her own desire, in the fresh mould where never 


man was laid. May it be a token that she is with Him who was 
lairl in a new tomb." 

He records another case: "January 4, 1837 — Sent for to Mrs. 

S . Very ill ; asthmatic. Spoke on * No condemnation to 

them, that are in Christ.^ She said, ' But am I in (Jhrist V seem- 
ingly very anxious. Said she had often been so, and had let it go 
by. 5th — Still living; spoke to her of Christ, and of full salva- 
tion. (Myself confined in the house till the IGth.) IGth — !iMuch 
worse. Not anxious to hear, yet far from rest. Dark, uneasy 
eye. Asked me, ' What is it to believe?' Spoke to her on ' God^ 
who made light shine out of darkness.' She seemed to take up 
nothing. Lord help I 17th — Still worse ; wearing away. No 
smile ; no sign of inward peace. Spoke of ' Remember meJ* 
Went over the whole gospel in the form of personal address. 
She drowsy. 18th — Quieter. ' Mi/ Lord and my God.' She 
spoke at intervals. More cheerful ; anxious that I should not go 
without prayer. Has much knowledge; complete command of 
the Bible. 19th — Spoke on ' Convincing of sin and righteous- 
ness.* Rather more heart to hear. 2()th — Psalm li. Her look 
and her words were lightsome. 23d — Faintish and restless ; no 
sign of peace. ' / am the way' and Psalm xxv. 24 — Still silent 
and little sign of any thing. 26th — Psalm xl. ' The fearful pit.' 
Very plain. Could not get any thing out of her. February 1st 
-^Died at twelve noon ; no visible mark of light, or comfort, or 
hope. The day shall declare it." 

One other case: "February 5, 1839. — Called suddenly in the 
evening. Found him near death. Careless family. Many round 
him. Spoke of the freeness and sufficiency of Jesus, ' Come unto 
me' (fee, and ' The torath of God revealed from heaven.' Told 
him he was going where he would see Christ ; asked him if he 
would be his saviour ? He seemed to answer ; his father said, 
'He is saying, yes.' But it was the throe of death. One or two 
indescribable gasps, and he died I I sat silent, and let God preach. 
7th — Spoke of the ' Widow of Nain,' and ' Behold, 1 stand at the 
door.' " 

Attendance at funerals was often to him a season of much exer- 
cise. Should it not be to all ministers a time for solemn inquiry ? 
Was I faithiul with this soul ? Could this soul have learnt salva- 
tion from me every time I saw him ? And did 1 pray as fervently 
as 1 spoke ? And if we have tender pity for souls, we will some- 
times feel as Mr. M'Cheyne records: "September 24. — Biu'ied 
A. M. Felt bitterly the word, ' If any man draw back,' &c. 
Never had more bitter feelings at any funeral." 

All who make any pretension to the otlice of shepherds visit 
their flocks ;* yet there is a wide difference in the kind oi' visits 

♦ Uaxtcr (Reformed Pastor) snys, " I dare prognosticate from knowledge of the 
nnttirc of true grace, that all godly ministers will make conscience of this duty, and 
address themselves to it, unless they be, by some extraordinary accident disaoled." 


which shepherds give. One does it formally, to discharge his 
duty and to quiet conscience ; another makes it his delight. And 
of those who make it their delight, one goes forth on the regular 
plan of addressing all in somewhat of the same style ; while an- 
other speaks freely, according as the wounds of the sheep come 
to view. On all occasions, this difficult and trying work must be 
gone about with a full heart, if it is to be gone about successfully 
at all. There is little in it to excite, for there is not the presence 
of numbers, and the few you see at a time are in their calmest, 
every-day mood. Hence there is need of being full of grace, and 
need of feeling as though God did visit every hearer by your 
means. Our object is not to get duty done, but to get souls saved. 
2 Cor. xiii. 7. Mr. M'Cheyne used to go forth in this spirit ; and 
often after visiting from house to house for several hours, he 
would return to some room in the place in the evening, and preach 
to the gathered families. " September 26, 1838. — Good visiting 
day. Twelve families; many of them go nowhere. It is a great 
thing to be well furnished by meditation and prayer before setting 
out ; it makes you a far more full and faithful witness. Preached 
in A. F.'s house on Job, ^ I know that my Redeemer liveth.' Very 
sweet and precious to myself" 

Partly from his state of health, and partly from the vast accu- 
mulation of other labors, and the calls made on him for evangel- 
izing elsewhere, he was never able to overtake the visitation of 
the whole district assigned him. He was blessed to attract and 
reclaim very many of the most degraded ; and by Sabbath-schools, 
and a regulnr eldership, to take superintendence of the population, 
to a great extent. Still he himself often said that his parish had 
never fully shared in the advantages that attend an aggressive 
system of parochial labor. Once, when spending a day in the 
rural parish of Collace, as we went in the afternoon from door to 
door, and spoke to the children whoni we met on the road-side, he 
smiled and said, " Well, how I envy a country minister ; for he 
can get acquainted with all his people, and have some insight into 
their real character." Many of us thought that he afterwards 
erred, in the abundant Irequency of his evangelistic labors at a 
time when he was still bound to a particular flock. 

He had an evening-class every week for the young people of his 
congregation. The Catechism and the Bible were his text books, 
while he freely introduced all manner of useful illustrations. He 
thought himself bound to prepare diligently for his classes, that he 
might give accurate and simple explanations, and unite what was 
interesting with the most solemn and awakening views. But it 
was his class for young communicants that engaged his deepest 
care, and wherein he saw most success. He began a class of this 
kind previous to his first Communion, and continued to foi-m it 
again some weeks before every similar occasion. His tract pub- 
lished in 1840, " This do in remembrance of me" may be cjnsid- 


erf»d as exhibiting the substance of his solemn examinations on 
these occasions. 

He usually noted down his first impressions of his communi- 
cants, and compared these notes with what he afterwards saw in 
them. Thus : •' M. K., sprightly and lightsome, yet sensible ; she 
saw plainly that the converted alone should come to the Table, but 
stumbled at the question. If she were converted 1 Yet she claimed 
being awakened and brought to Christ." Another: "Very staid, 
intelligent-like person, with a steady kind of anxiety, but, I fear, 
no i'eeling of helplessness. Thought that sorrow and prayer 
would obtain forgiveness. Told her plainly what I thought of her 
case." Another : " Knows she was once Christless ; now she 
reads and prays, and is anxious. I doubt not there is some anxi- 
ety, yet I fear it may be only a self-reformation to recommend 
herself to God and to man. Told her plainly." " A. M., I fear 
much for him. Gave him a token with much anxiety; warned 
him very much." " C. P. does not seem to have any work of 
anxiety. He reads prayer books, &c. Does not pray in secret. 
Seems not very intelligent." 

He soui^ht to encourage Sabbath-schools in all the districts of 
his parish. The hymn, " Oil for the Lamp," was written to im- 
press the parable on a class of Sabbath scholars in 1841. Some 
of his sweet, simple tracts were written for these schools. " Rea- 
sons why Children should fly to Christ" was the first, written at 
the New Year, 1839 ; and " The La?)ibs of the Flock" was another 
at a later period. His heart felt for the young. One evening, 
after visiting some of his Sabbath-schools, he writes : '• Had con- 
siderable joy in teaching the children. O for real heart-work 
among them !" He could accommodate himself to their capaci- 
ties ; and he did not reckon it vain to use his talents in order to 
attract their attention ; for he regarded the soul of a child as in- 
finitely precious. Ever watchful for opportunities, on the blank 
leaf of a book which he had sent to a little boy of his congrega- 
tion, he wrote these simple lines : — 

Peace be to thee, gentle boy! 
Many years of health and joy ! 
Love your Bible more than play- 
Grow in wisdom every day. 
Like the lark on hovering wing, 
Early rise, and mount and sing ; 
Like the dove that found no rest 
Till it Hew to Noah's breast, 
Rest not in this world of sin, 
Till the iSaviour take thee in. 

He had a high standard in his mind as to the moral qualifica- 
lions of those who should teach the young. When a female 
teacher was sought for to conduct an evening school in his parish 
for the sake of the mill-girls, he wrote to one interested in the 
cause — " The qualifications she should possess for sewing and 


knitting, you will understand far better than I. She should be 
able to keep up in her scholars the fluency of reading, and the 
knowledge of the Bible and Catechism, which they may have 
already acquired. She should be able to teach them to sing the 
praises of God, with feeling and melody. But far above all, she 
should be a Christian woman, not in name only, but in deed and in 
truth — one whose heart has been touched by the spirit of God, 
and who can love the souls of little children. Any teacher who 
wanted this last qualification, I would look upon as a curse rather 
than a blessing — a centre of blasting, and coldness, and death, 
instead of a centre from which life, and warmth, and heavenly 
influence might emanate." 

It was very soon after his ordination that he began his weekly 
prayer-meeting in the Church. He had heard how meetings of 
this kind had been blessed in other places, and never had he any 
cause to regret having set apart the Thursday evening for this 
holy purpose. One of its first effects was to quicken those who 
had already believed ; they were often refreshed upon these occa- 
sions even more than on the Sabbath. Some of the most solemn 
seasons of his ministry were at those meetings. At their com- 
mencement, he wrote to me an account of his manner of conduct- 
ing them — " I give my people a scripture to be hidden in the 
heart — generally a promise of the Spirit, or the wonderful effects 
of his outpouring.* I give them the heads of a sermon upon it for 
about twenty minutes. Prayer goes before and follows. Then 
I read some history of Revivals, and comment in passing. I 
think the people are very much interested in it ; a number of peo- 
ple come from all parts of the town. But. oh ! I need much the 
living Spirit to my own soul ; I want my life to be hid with Christ 
in God. At present there is too much hurry, and bustle, and out- 
ward working, to allow the calm working of the Spirit on the 
heart. I seldom get time to meditate, like Isaac, at evening tide, 
except when I am tired ; but the dew comes down when all na- 
ture is at rest — when every leaf is still." 

A specimen of the happy freedom and familiar illustrations 
which his people felt to be peculiar to these meetings, may be 
found in the notes taken by one of his hearers, of " Expositions 
of the Epistles to the Seven Churches,'^ given during the year 1838. 
Se had himself great delight in the Thursday evening meetings. 
" They will doubtless be remembered in eternity with songs of 
praise," said he, on one occasion ; and at another time, observing 
the tender frame of a soul which was often manifested at these sea- 
sons, he said, " There is a stillness to the last word — not as on 
Sabbaths, a rushing down at the end of the prayer, as if glad to 
get out of God's presence." So many believing and so many 

* The first text he gave to be thus hidden in the heart vras Isaiah xxxiv 15— 
" Until the Spirit be poured out from on high." 


enquiring souls used to attend, and so few of the worldlings, that 
you seemed to breathe the atmosphere of heaven. 

But it was his Sabbath-day's services that brought multitudes 
together, and were soon felt throughout the town. He was ever 
so ready to assist his brethren, so much engaged in every good 
work, and latterly so often interrupted by inquiries, that it might 
be thought he had no time for careful preparation, and might be 
excused for the absence of it. But, in truth, he never preached 
without careful attention bestowed on his subject. He might, in- 
deed, have little time — often the hours of a Saturday was all the 
time he could obtain — but his daily study of the Scriptures stored 
his mind, and formed a continual preparation. Much of his Sab- 
bath services was a drawing out of what he had carried in during 
busy days of the week. 

His voice was remarkably clear — his manner attractive by its 
mild dignity. His form itself drew the eye.* He spoke from the 
pulpit as one earnestly occupied with the souls before him. He 
made them feel sympathy with what he spoke, for his own eye and 
heart were on them. He was. at the same time, able to bring out 
illustrations at once simple and felicitous, often with poetic skill 
and elegance. He wished to use Saxon words, for the sake of 
being understood by the most illiterate in his audience. And 
while his style was singularly clear, this clearness itself was so 
much the consequence of his being able thoroughly to analyze and 
explain his subject, that all liis hearers alike reaped the benefit. 

He went about his public work with awful reverence. So evi- 
dent was this, that J remember a countryman in my parish 
observed to me — "Before he opened his lips, as he came along 
the passage, there was something about him that sorely afl'ected 
me." In the vestry there was never any idle conversation ; all 
was preparation of heart in approaching God ; and a short prayer 
preceded his entering the pulpit. Surely in going forth to speak 
for God, a man may well be overawed ! Surely in putting ibrth 
his hand to sow the seed of the kingdom, a man may even trem- 
ble ! And surely we should aim at nothing less than to pour 
forth the truth upon our people through the channel of our own 
hving and deeply affected souls. 

After announcing the subject of his discourse, he used generally 
to show the position it occupied in the context, and then proceed 
to bring out the doctrines of the text in the manner of our old 
divines. This done, he divided his subject ; and herein he was 
eminently skilful. " The heads of his sermons," said a friend, 
" were not the mile-stones that tell you how near you are to your 
journey's end, but they were nails which fixed and fastened all he 
said. Divisions are often dry ; but not so his divisions — they 
were so textual and so feeling, and they brought out the spirit of 
a passage so surprisingly." 

* " Gratior est pulchro venicns e corpore virtus." 


It was his wish to arrive nearer at the primitive mode cf ex 
pounding Scripture in his sermons. Hence when one asked him, 
If he was never afraid of running short of sermons some day ? he 
rephed — " No ; I am just an interpreter of Scripture in my ser- 
mons ; and when the Bible runs dry, then I shall." And in the 
same spirit he carefully avoided the too common mode of accom- 
modating texts — fastening a doctrine on the words, not drawing it 
from the obvious connection of the passage. He endeavored at 
all times to preach the mind of the Spirit in a passage ; for he 
feared that to do otherwise would be to grieve the Spirit who had 
written it. Interpretation was thus a solemn matter to him. 
And yet, adhering scrupulously to this sure principle, he felt him- 
self in no way restrained from using, for every day's necessities, 
all parts of the Old Testament as much as the New. His manner 
was first to ascertain the primary sense and application, and so 
proceed to handle it for present use. Thus, on Isaiah xxvi. 16-19, 
he began — " This passage, I believe, refers literally to the conver- 
sion of God's ancient people." He regarded the prophecies as 
history yet to he, and drew lessons from them accordingly as he 
would have done from the past. Every spiritual gift being in the 
hands of Jesus, if he found Moses or Paul in the possession of pre- 
cious things, he forthwith was led to follow them into the presence 
of that same Lord who gave them all their grace. 

There is a wide difference between preaching doctrine and 
preaching Christ. Mr. M'Cheyne preached all the doctrines of 
Scripture as understood by our Confession of Faith, dwelling 
upon ruin by the Fall, and recovery by the Mediator. " The 
things of the human heart, and the things of the Divine mind," 
were in substance his constant theme. From personal experience 
of deep temptation, he could lay open the secrets of the heart, so 
that he once said. " He supposed the reason why some of the 
worst sinners in Dundee had come to hear him was, because his 
heart exhibited so much likeness to theirs." Still it was not doc- 
trine alone that he preached ; it was Christ, from whom all 
doctrine shoots forth as rays from a centre. He sought to hang 
every vessel and flagon upon him. " It is strange," he wrote after 
preaching on Revelations!. 15 — "It is strange how sweet and 
precious it is to preach directly about Christ, compared with all 
other subjects of preaching." And he often expressed a dislike 
of the phrase, ^^ giving attention to religion," because it seemed 
to substitute doctrine, and a devout way of thinking, for Christ 

It is difficult to convey to those who never knew him a correct 
idea of the sweetness and holy unction of his preaching. Some 
of his sermons, printed from his own MSS. (although almost all 
are first copies), may convey a correct idea of his style and mode 
of preaching doctrine. But there are no notes that give any true 
idea of his affectionate appeals to the heart and searching appUca- 


tions. These he seldom wrote ; they were poured forth at the 
moment when his heart filled with his subject; for his rule was to 
set before his hearers a body of truth first — and there always was 
a vast amount of IJible truth in his discourses — and then urge 
home the aj)i)lication. His exhortations flowed from his doctrine, 
and thus had both variety and power. He was systematic in this ; 
for he observed — " Ap{)eals to the careless, &c.,come with power 
on the back of some massy truth. See how Paul does, (Acts xiii. 
40), 'Beware, therefore, lest,' &c., and (Hebrews ii. 1), ' There- 
fore, we should,' &c." 

He was sometimes a little unguarded in his statements, when 
his heart was deeply moved and his feelings stirred, and some- 
times he was too long in his addresses ; but this also arose from 
the fulness of his soul. " Another wo-rd," he thought, " may be 
blessed, though the last has made no impression." 

Many will remember for ever the blessed Communion Sabbaths 
that were enjoyed in St. Peter's. From the very first these Com- 
munion seasons were remarkably owned of God. The awe of 
his presence used to be upon his people, and the house filled with 
the odor of the ointment, when his name was poured forth, 
(Song i. 3.) But on common Sabbaths also many soon began to 
journey long distances to attend St. Peter's — many from country 
parishes, who would return home wjth their hearts burning, as 
they talked of what they had heard that day. 

Mr. M'Cheyne knew the snare of popularity, and naturally was 
one that would have been fascinated by it ; but the Lord kept 
him. He was sometimes extraordinarily helped in his preaching, 
but at other times, tiiough not perceived by his hearers, his soul 
felt as if left to its own resources. The cry of Rowland Hill 
was constantly on his lips, "Master, help !" and often is it written 
at the close of his sermon. Much affliction, also, was a thorn in 
the flesh to him. He described himself as often " strong as a 
giant when in the Church, but like a willow-wand when all was 
over." But certainly, above all, his abiding sense of ihe Divine 
favor was his safe-guard. He began his ministry in Dundee with 
this sunshine on his way. "As yet I have been kept not only in 
the light of his reconciled countenance, but very much under the 
guiding eye of our providing God. Indeed, as I remember good 
old Swartz used to say, ' I could not have imagined that he cotild 
have been so gracious to us.' " I believe that while he had some 
sorer conflicts, he had also far deeper joy after his return from 
Palestine than in the early part of his ministiy, though from the 
very commencement of it, he enjoyed that sense of the love of 
God which "keeps the heart and mind." Philip, iv. 7. This was 
the true secret of his holy walk, and of his calm humility. But 
for this, his ambition would have become the only principle of 
many an action; but now the sweeter love of God constrained 
him, and the natural ambition of his spirit could be discerned only 


as suggesting to him the idea of making attempts which others 
would have dech'ned. 

Whiit monotony there is in the ministry of many ! Duty presses 
on the heels of duty in an endless circle. But it is not so when 
the Spirit is quickening both the pastor and his flock. Then there 
is all the variety of life. It was so here. 

The Lord began to work by his means almost from the first day 
ne came. There was ever one and another stricken, and o-oino- 
apart to weep alone. ^ ^ 

The flocking of souls to his ministry, and the deep interest ex- 
cited, drew the attention of many, and raised the wish in some 
quarters to have him as their pastor. He had not been many 
months engaged m his laborious work when he was solicited to 
remove to the parish of Skirling, near Biggar. It was an offbr 
that presented great advantages above his own field of labor as to 
worldly gam, and m respect of the prospect it held out of com- 
parative ease and comfort ; for the parish was small and the emolu- 
ment great. But as it is required of a bishop, that he be "not 
greedy of filthy lucre ;" nay, that he be "one who has no love of 
raoney {'icpda^yv^oi, [ Tim. iii. 3) at all, so was it true that in him 
these qualifications eminently shone. His remarks in a letter to 
his father contam the honest expression of his feelincrg :— " 1 am set 
down among nearly 4000 people; 1100 people have taken seats 
m my church. 1 bring my message, such as it is, within the reach 
ot that great company every Sabbath-day. I dare not leave this 
people I dare not leave 3000 or 4000, for 300 people. Had this 
been offered me before, I would have seen it a 'direct intimation 
from Crod and would heartily have embraced it. How I should 
have delighted to feed so precious a little flock— to watch over 
every family— to know every heart—' to allure to brighter worlds 
and lead the way 1' But God has not so ordered it. He has set 
me down among the noisy mechanics and political weavers of this 
godless town. He will make the money sufficient. He that paid 
his taxes from a fish's mouth, will supply all my need." He had 
already expressed the hope, "Perhaps the Lord will make this 
wilderness of chimney-tops to be green and beautiful as the gar- 
den of the Lord, a field which the Lord hath blessed." 

H.s health was delicate; and the harassing care and endless 
fatigue incident to his position, in a town like Dundee, seemed un- 
suitable to his spirit This belief led to another attempt to remove 
him to a country sphere. In the summer of this same year (1837) 
he was sh-ongly urged to preach as a candidate for the vacant 
parish of St. Martm s, near Perth, and assured of the appointment 
If he would only come forward. But he declined again: "My 
Master has placed me here with his own hand ; and I never will, 
directly or indirectly seek to be removed." 

There were circumstances in this latter case that made the call 
on hitn appear urgent in several points of view. In comin^ to a 


resolution, lie mentions one interesting element in the rlecision, in 
a letter to me. dated August 8th. " I was much troubled about 
being asked to go to a neighboring parish at present vacant, and 
made it a matter of prayer: and I mention it now because of the 
wonderful answer to prayer which I think I received from God. 
I prayed that in order to settle my own mind completely about 
stnying, he would awaken some of my people. I agreed that 
should he a sign that he would wish me to stay. The next morn- 
ing, I think, or at least the second morning, there came to me two 
young persons I had never seen before, in great distress. What 
brought this to my mind was, that they came to me again yester- 
day, and their distress is greatly increased. Indeed I never saw 
any people in such anguish about their soul. I cannot but regard 
this as a real answer to prayer. I have also several other persons 
in deep distress, and I feel that I am quite helpless in comforting 
them. I would lain be like Noah, who put out his hand and took 
in the weary dove ; but God makes me stand by and feel that I am 
a child. VVill God never cast the scenes of our labor near each 
other? We are in his hand; let him do as seemeth him good. 
Pray for me, for my people, for my own soul, that I be not a cast- 

Few godly pastors can be willing to change the scene of their 
labors, unless it be plain that the Cloudy Pillar is pointing them 
away. It is perilous for men to choose for themselves ; and too 
often has it happened that the minister who, on slight grounds, 
moved away from his former watch-tower, has had reason to 
mourn over the disappointment of his hopes in his larger and wider 
sphere. But while this is admitted, probably it may appear un- 
warrantable in Mr. M'Cheyne to have prayed for a sign of the 
Lord's will. It is to be observed, however, that he decided the 
point of duty on other grounds, and it was only with the view of 
obtaining an additional confirmation by the occurrences of Provi- 
dence, tiiat he prayed in this manner, in submission to the will of 
the Lord. He never held it right to decide the path of duty by any 
such signs or tokens ; he believed that the written word supplied 
sufficient data for guiding the believing soul ; and such providential 
occurrences as happened in this case he regarded as important 
only so far as they might be answers to prayer. Indeed, he him- 
self has left us a glance of his views on this point in a fragment, 
which (for it is not dated) may have been written about this time. 
He had been thinking on " Gideoti's Fleeced 

When God called Gideon forth to fight — 
" Go, save thou Israel in thy might," — 
The faithful warrior sought a sign 
That God would on his labors shine. 

The man who, at thy dread command, 

Lifted the shield and deiidly brand, 

To do thy strange and fearful work — 

Thy work of blood and vengeance, Lord ! — 


Might need assurance doubly tried, 

To prove thou would'st his steps betide. 
But when the message which we bring 
Is one to make the dumb man sing : 
To bid the blind man wash and see, 
The lame to leap with ecstasy ; 
To raise the soul that's bowed down, 
To wipe away the tears and frown ; 
To sprinkle all the heart within 

From the accusing voice of sin — 
• Then, such a sign my call to prove, 

To preach my Saviour's dying love, / 

I cannot, dare not, hope to find. 

In the close of the same year 1837, he agreed to become Se- 
cretary to the Association for Church Extension in the county of 
Forfar. The Church Extension scheme, though much misrepre- 
sented and much misunderstood, had in view as its genuine, sin- 
cere endeavor, to bring to overgrown parishes the advantage of a 
faithful minister, placed over such a number of souls as he could 
really visit. Mr. M'Cheyne cheerfully and diligently forwarded 
these objects to the utmost of his power. " It is the cause of God,'^' 
said he, " and therefore I am willing to spend and be spent for it." 
It compelled him to ride much from place to place ; but ridmg 
was an exercise of which he was fond, and which was favorable 
to his health. As a specimen—" Dec. 4th, 1838. Travelled to 
Montrose. Spoke, along with Mr. Guthrie, at a Church Exten- 
sion meeting ; eight or nine hundred present. Tried to do some- 
thing in the Saviour's cause, both directly and indirectly. Next 
day at Forfar. Spoke in the same cause." 

How heartily he entered into this scheme may be seen from the 
following extract. In a letter of an after date to Mr. Roxburgh, 
he says— "Every day I live, I feel more and more persuaded that 
it is the cause of God and of his kingdom in Scotland in our day. 
Many a time, when I thought myself a dying man, the souls of the 
perishing thousands in mv'own parish, who never enter any house 
of God, have lain heavy on my heart. Many a time have I prayed 
that the eyes of our enemies might be opened, and that God would 
open the hearts of our rulers, to feel that their highest duty and 
greatest glory is to support the ministers of Christ, and to send 
these to every perishing soul in Scotland." He felt that their 
misery was all the greater, and their need the deeper, that such 
neglected souls had no wish for help!? and would never ask tor it 
themselves. Nor was it that he imagined that, if churches were 
built and ministers endowed, this would of itself be sufficient to 
reclaim the multitudes of perishing men. But he sought and ex- 
pected that the Lord would send faithful men into his vineyard. 
These new churches were to be hke cisterns— ready to catch the 
shower when it should fall, just as his own did in the day of the 
Lord's power. . , ^ „ 

His views on this subject were summed up m the tollowmg 

VOL. I. 5 


lines, written one day as he sat in company with some of his zea- 
lous brethren who were deeply engaged in the scheme : — 

'•Give me a man of God the truth to preach, 
A house of prayer wiihin convenient reach, 
Seat-rents the poorest of the poor can pay, 
A spot so small one pastor can survey. 
Give these — and give the Spirit's genial shower, 
Scotland shall be a garden all in flower !" 

Another public duty, to which during all the years of his ministry 
he gave constant attention, was attendance at the meetings of 
Presbytery. His candor, and uprightness, and Christian gene- 
rosity, were felt by all his brethren ; and his opinion, though the 
opinion of so young a man, was regarded with more than com- 
mon respect. In regard to the great public questions that were 
th.en shaking the Church of Scotland, his views were decided and 
unhesitating. No policy, in his view, could be more ruinous to 
true (Jliristianity, or more fitted to blight vital godliness, than that 
of Moderatism. He wrote once to a friend in Ireland — "You 
don't know what Moderatism is. It is a plant that our Heavenly 
Father never i)lanted, and I trust it is now to be rooted up." The 
greutquestion of the Church's independence of the Civil Power in 
all matters spiritual, and the right ot the Christian people to judge if 
the pastor a))pointed over them had the Shepherd's voice, he invaria- 
bly held to be part of Scripture truth; which, therefore, must be 
preached and carried into practice, at all hazards. In like manner 
he rejoiced exceedingly in the settlements of faithful ministers. The 
appointments of Mr. Baxter to Hilltown, Mr. Lewis to St. David's, 
and Mr. Miller to Wallacetown at a later period, are all noticed 
by him with expressions of thankfulness and joy ; and it occa- 
sioned the same leelings if he heard of the destitution of any parish 
in any part of the country supplied. He writes, September 20, 
1838, " Present at A. B.'s ordination at Collace with great joy. 
Blessed be God for the gift of this pastor. Give testimony to the 
word of thy grace." 

Busy at home, he nevertheless always had a keenly evangelistic 
spirit. He might have written much, and have gained a name by 
his writings ; but he laid every thing aside when put in compari- 
son with preaching the everlasting gospel. He scarcely ever re- 
fused an invitation to preach^on a week-day; and travelling from 
place to place did not interrupt his fellowship with God. Il^s oc- 
casional visits during these years were much blessed. At Blair- 
gowrie and Collace his visits were longed for as times of special 
refreshment ; nor was it less so at Kirriemuir, when he visited 
Mr. Cormick, or at Abernyte in the days when Mr. Hamilton (now 
of Regent Scjuare L(.ndon) and alterwanls Mr. Manson, were 
laboring in that vineyard. It would be diliicult even to eniune- 
rate .the places which he watered at Communion seasons ; and 


in some of these it was testified of him, that not the words he 
spoke, but the holy manner in which he spoke, was the chief 
means of arresting souls. 

Occasionally two or three of us, whose lot was cast within con- 
venient distance, and whose souls panted for the same water- 
brooks, used to meet together to spend a whole day in confession 
of ministerial and personal sins, with prayer for grace, guiding 
ourselves by the reading of the Word. At such times we used to 
meet in the evening with the flock of the pastor in whose house 
the meeting had been held through the day, and there unitedly 
pray for the Holy Spirit being poured down upon the people. 
The first time we held such a meeting, there were tokens ol' bless- 
ing observed by several of us ; and the week after he wrote — 
" Has there been any fruit of the happy day we spent with you ? 
I thought I saw some the Sabbath after, here. In due season we 
shall reap if we faint not; only be thou strong, and of a good 
courage." The incident that encouraged him is recorded in his 
diary. An elderly person came to tell him how the river of joy 
and peace in believing had that Sabbath most singularly flowed 
through her soul, so tliat she blessed God that she ever came to 
St. Peter's. He adds, " N. B. — This seems a fruit of our prayer- 
meeting, begun last Wednesday at ColIace~one drop of the 

It should have been remarked ere now, that during all his minis- 
try he was careful to use not only the direct means appointed for 
the conversion of souls, but those also that appear more indirect, 
such as the key of discipline. In regard to the Lord's Supper, his 
little tract explains his views. He believed that to keep back 
those whose profession was a credible profession even while the 
pastor might have strong doubts as to their fitness in his own 
mind, was not the rule laid down for us in the New Testament. 
At the same time, he as steadily maintained that no unconverted 
person ought to come to the Lord's Table ; and on this point 
"they should judge themselves if they would not be judged." 

When communicants came to be admitted for the first time, or 
when parents that had been communicants before came for bap- 
tism to their children, it was his custom to ask them solemnly if 
their souls were saved. His dealing was blessed to the conver- 
sion of not a few young persons who were coming carelessly for- 
ward to the communion ; and himself records the blessing that at- 
tended his faithful dealing with a parent coming to speak with him 
about the baptism of his child. The man said that he had been 
taking a thought, and believed himself in the light way — that he felt 
his disposition better, for he could forgive injuries. Mr. M'Cheyne 
showed him that nevertheless he was ignorant of God's righteous- 
ness. The man laid it to heart ; and when Mr. M'Cheyne said 
that he thought it would be better to defer the baptism, at once 
offered to come again and speak on the matter. On a subsequent 


visit, he seemed really to have seen his error, and to have cast 
avi^ay his own righteousness. When his child was baptised, it 
was joy to the pastor's heart to have the good hope that the man 
had received salvation. 

In connection with the superstitious feeling of the most de- 
praved as to baptism, he related an affecting occurrence. A care- 
less parent one evening entered his house, and asked him to come 
with him to baptise a dying child. He knew that neither this 
man nor his wife ever entered the door of a church ; but he rose 
and went with him to the miserable dwelling. There an infant 
lay, apparently dying ; and many of the female neighbors, equally 
depraved with the parents, stood round. He came forward to where 
the child was, and spoke to the parents of their ungodly state and 
fearful guilt before God, and concluded by showing them that, in 
such circumstances, he would consider it sinful in him to adminis- 
ter baptism to their infant. They said, " He might at least do it 
for the sake of the poor child." He told them that it was not bap- 
tism that saved a soul, and that out of true concern for themselves 
he must not do as they wished. The friends around the bed then 
joined the parents in upbraiding him as having no pity on the poor 
infant's soul ! He stood among them still, and showed them that 
it was they who had been thus cruel to their child ; and then lifted 
up his voice in solemn warning, and left the house amid their ig- 
norant reproaches. 

Nor did he make light of the Kirk-session's power to rebuke 
and deal with an offender. Once from the pulpit, at an ordination 
of elders, he gave the following testimony upon this head : — 

" When I first entered upon the work of the ministry among 
you, I was exceedingly ignorant of the vast importance of church 
discipline. I thought that my great and almost only work was to 
pray and preach. I saw your souls to be so precious, and the 
time so short, that I devoted all my time, and care, and strength, 
to labor in word and doctrine. When cases of discipline were 
brought before me and the elders, I regarded them with something 
like abhorrence. It was a duty I shrank from ; and I may truly 
say it nearly drove me from the work of the ministry among you 
altogether. But it pleased God, who teaches his servant? in an- 
other way than man teaches, to bless some of the cases of disci- 
pline to the manifest and undeniable conversion of the souls of 
those under our care ; and from that hour a new light broke in 
upon my mind, and I saw that if preaching be an ordinance of 
Christ, so is church discipline. I now feel very deeply persuaded 
that both are of God — that two keys are committed to us by Christ, 
the one the key of doctrine, by means of which we unlock the 
treasures of the Bible, the other the key of discipline, by which 
we open or shut the way to the sealing ordinances of the faith. 
Both are Christ's gift, and neither is to be resigned without sin." 

There was still another means of enforcing what he preached 


in the use of which he has excelled all his brethren, namely, the 
holy consistency of his daily walk. Aware that one idle word 
one needless contention, one covetous act, may destroy in our peo- 
ple the effect of many a solemn expostulation and earnest warning, 
he was peculiarly circumspect in his every-day walk. He wished 
to be always in the presence of God. If he travelled, he labored 
to enjoy God by the way, as well as to do good to others by drop- 
ping a word in season. In riding or walking, he seized opportu- 
nities of giving a useful tract; and, on principle, he preferred giv- 
ing it to the person directly, rather than casting it on the road. 
The former way, he said, was more open — there was no stealth in 
it — and we ought to be as clear as crystal in speaking or acting 
for Jesus. In writing a note, however short, he sought to season 
it with salt. If he passed a night in a strange place, he tried to 
bear the place specially on his soul at the mercy-seat ; and if com- 
pelled to take some rest from his too exhausting toils, his recrea- 
tions were little else than a change of occupation, from one mode 
of glorifying God to another.* His beautiful hymn, "/ am a 
dehtoi'," was written in May, 1837, at a leisure hour. 

Whatever be said in the pulpit, men will not much regard, 
though they may feel it at the time, if the minister does noi say 
the same in private, with equal earnestness, in speaking with his 
people face to face ; and it must be in our moments of most fami- 
liar intercourse with them, that we are thus to put the seal to all 
we say in public. Familiar moments are the times when the things 
that are most closely twined round the heart are brought out to 
view; and shall we forbear, by tacit consent, to introduce the Lord 
that brought us into such happy hours ? We must not only speak 
faithfully to our people in our sermons, but live faithfully for them 
too. Perhaps it may be found, that the reason why many, who 
preach the gospel fully and in all earnestness, are not owned of 
God in the conversion of souls, is to be found in their defective 
exhibition of grace in these easy moments of life. " Them that 
honor me, I will honor;" 1 Samuel ii. 30. It was noticed long 
ago that men will give you leave to preach against their sins as 
much as you will, if so be you will but be easy with them when you 
have done, and talk as they do, and live as they live. How much 
otherwise it was with Mr. M'Cheyne, all who knew him are wit- 
nesses ' 

His visits to friends were times when he sought to do good to 
their souls ; and never was he satisfied unless he could guide 

* Baxter's words are not less than the truth. " Recreation to a minister must 
be as whetting is with the mower, that is, only to be used so far as is necessary for 
his work. May a physician in the plague-time take any more relaxation or recrea- 
tion than is necessary for his life, when so many are expecting his help in a case of 
life and death ?" " Will you stand by and see sinners gasping under the pangs of 
death, and say, God doth not require me to make myself a drudge to save them ? Is 
this the voice of ministerial or Christian compassion, or rather of sensual laziness 
and diabolical cruelty V^ — Ref. Past. vi. 6. 


the conversation to benr upon the things of eternity. When he 
could not do so, he generally remained silent. And yet his de- 
meanor was easy and pleasant to all, exhibiting at once meekness 
of faith, and delicacy of feeling. There was in this character a 
high refinement that came out in poetry and true politeness ; and 
there was something in his graces that reminded one of his own 
remark, when explaining " the spices" of Song iv. 16, when he said, 
that "some believers were a garden that had fruit trees, and so 
were useful ; but we ought also to have spices and so be attractive." 
Wishing to convey his grateful feelings to a fellow laborer in 
Dundee, he sent him a Hebrew Bible, with these few lines pre- 
fixed : — 

Anoint mine eyes, Unstop mine ear, 

holy Dove ! Made deaf by sin, 

That I in;iy prize That 1 may hear 

This book of lore. Thy voice within. 

Break my hard heart, 

Jesus my Lord, 
In the inmost part 

Hide thy sweet word. 

It was on a similar occasion, in 1838, that he wrote the lines, 
" Thy word is a lamp unto my feet." At another time, sitting un- 
der a shady tree, and casting his eye on the hospitable dwelling in 
which he found a pleasant retreat, his grateful feelings flowed out 
to his kind friend in the lines that follow : — 


Long may peace within this dwelling 

Have its resting place ; 
Angel shields all harm repelling — 

God, their God of grace. 

May the dove-like Spirit guide them 

To the Upright land ! 
May the Saviour-shepherd feed them 

From his gentle hand ! 

Never was there one more beloved as a friend, and seldom any 
whose death could cause so many to feel as if no other friend could 
ever occupy his room. Some, too, can say that so much did they 
learn from his holy walk, " that it is probable a day never passes 
wherein they have not some advantage from his friendship."* 

I find written on the leaf of one of his note-books a short memo- 
randum. " Rules u'orth rememhei'ing. — When visiting in a family, 
whether ministerially or otherwise, speak particularly to the stran- 
gers about eternal things. Perhaps God has brought you together 
just to save that soul.'^ And then he refers to some instances 

• E'yo) ulit it] (taracocov row hivipoi rriii rt ao(piav Kat rriv ycvvaiSriiTa, ovtc ^i) /jTt^vtlaOat 6i' 
II(iiA[parov( avvtyivtTO, CKtXvov iyii tov avSpa d^co^oKapiordrarov vofii^u). 


which occurred to himself in which God seemed to honor a word 
spoken in this incidental way. 

In this spirit, he was enabled for nearly three years to give his 
strength to his Master's service. Sickness sometimes laid him 
aside, and taught him what he had to suffer ; but he rose from it 
to go forth again to his joyful labors. Often, after a toilsome day, 
there were inquirers waiting for him, so that he had to begin work 
afresh in a new form. But this was his delight ; it was a kind of 
interruption which he allowed even on a Saturday, in the midst 
of his studies. He was led to resolve not to postpone any inqui- 
rers till a future time, by finding that having done so on one occa- 
sion at a pressing moment, the individuals never returned ; and so 
alive was he to the responsibilities of his office, that he ever after 
feared to lose such an opportunity of speaking with souls at a time 
when they were aroused to concern. Busy one evening with 
some extra-parochial work, he was asked if any person should be 
admitted to see him that night. '* Surely — what do we live for?" 
was his immediate reply. It was his manner, too, on a Saturday 
afternoon, to visit one or two of his sick, who seemed near the 
point of death, with the view of being thus stirred up to a more 
direct application of the truth to his flock on the morrow, as dying 
men on the edge of eternity. 

We have already observed that in his doctrine there was 
nothing that differed from the views of truth laid down in the 
standards of our Church. He saw no inconsistency in preaching 
an electing God, who " calleth whom he will," and a salvation 
free to " whosoever will ;" nor in declaring the absolute sove- 
I'eignty of God, and yet the unimpaired responsibility of man. 
He preached Christ as a gift laid down by the Father for every 
sinner freely to take. In the beginning of his ministry, as he 
preached the fulness of the glad tidings, and urged on his people 
that there was enough in the glad tidings to bring direct and im- 
mediate assurance to every one who really believed them, some 
of his flock were startled. For he ever preached, that, while it 
is true that there are believers, like Heman or Asaph, who do not 
enjoy full assurance of the love of God, yet certainly no true be- 
liever should remain satisfied in the absence of this blessed peace. 
Not a few had hitherto been accustomed to take for granted tnat 
they might be Christians, though they knew of no change ; and 
had never thought of enjoying the knowledge of the love of God 
as their present portion. They heard that others, who w^ere 
reckoned believers, had doubts ; so they had come to consider 
fears and doubts as the very marks of a believing soul. The 
consequence had been, that, in past days, many concluded them- 
selves to be Christians, because they seemed to be in the very 
state of mind of which those who were reputed to be believers 
spoke, viz., doubt and alarm. Alas I in their case there could be 
nothing else, for they had only a name to live. 


Some one wrote to him, putting several questions concerning 
conversion, assurance, and faith, which had been stirred up by his 
ministry. The import of the questions may be gathered from his 
reply, which was as follows : — 

"1.7 doiiht if there are many saints who live and die without 
a cojnfortable sense of forgiveness, and acceptance with God. 
The saints of whom the Bible speaks seem to have enjoyed it 
richly both in life and death. See the murderers of our Lord, 
Acts ii. 41 ; the Ethiopian, Acts viii. 39; the jailor, Acts xvi. 35^1 
David also felt it, sinful man though he was ; Romans iv. 6. Paul 
also prayed that the Romans might have it ; Romans xv. 13. 1 
fear this objection is generally made by those who are living in 
sin, and do not wish to know the dangerous road they are on. 

"2. A sense of forgiveness does not proceed from marks seen in 
yourself, hit from a discovery of the beauty, icorth, and freeness 
of Chi-ist ; Psa. xxxiv. 5. We look oxit for peace, not in. At 
the same time there is also an assurance I'ising from what we see 
in ourselves ; the seal of the Spirit, love to the brethren, &c., are 
the chief marks. 

" 3. Feeling a body of sin is a mark that we are like Paul, and 
that we are Christ's ; llom. vii. ; Gal. v. 17. Paul was cheerful 
with a body of sin ; and so ought we to be. So was David, and 
all the saints. 

" 4. 1 do not think there is any difference between those con- 
verted within these few years, and those loho were Christians be- 
fore. Many of those converted since I came are, I fear, very 
unholy. I fear this more than anything. I fear there is too much 
talk and too little reality. Still there are many good figs — many 
of whom I am persuaded better things, and things that accom- 
pany salvation. The answer to your question I lear is this, that 
many used to be taken for Christians before, who had only a name 
to live, and were dead. I think there is more discrimination now. 
But take care and be not proud, for that goes before a fall. Take 
care of censorious judging of others, as if all must be converted 
in the same way. 

" God moves in a mysterious way. He hath mercy on whom 
he will have mercy. To him alone be glory." 

He thus stated his views on another occasion : Referring to 
Song vi. 3, "My beloved is mine," following" My beloved is gone 
down into his garden," he said, " This is the faith of assurance — a 
complete, unhesitating embracing of Christ as my righteousness 
and my strength and my all. A common mistake is that this clear 
conviction that Christ is mine, is an attainment far on in the divine 
life, and that it springs from evidences seen in my heart. When 
I see myself a new creature, Christ on the throne in my heart, 
love to the brethren, &c., it is often thought that I may begin 
then to say ' My beloved is mine.' How difterent this pass;ige I 
The moment Jesus comes down into the garden to the beds of 


spices — the moment he reveals himself, the soul cries out, ' My be- 
loved is mine !' So saith Thomas : John xx. 27, 28. The mo- 
ment Jesus came in and revealed his wounds, Thomas cried out, 
* My Lord and my God.' He did not look to see if he was believ- 
ing, or if the graces of love and humility were reigning ; but all 
he saw and thought of was Jesus and him crucified and risen." 
At a subsequent period, when preaching on Matt. xi. 28, •' Come 
unto me," he said, " I suppose it is almost impossible to explain 
what it is to come to Jesus, it is so simple. If you ask a sick per- 
son who had been healed, what it was to come and be healed, he 
could hardly tell you. As far as the Lord has given me light in 
this matter, and looking at what my own heart does in like cir- 
cumstances, I do not feel that there is anything more in coming to 
Jesus, than just believing what God says about his Son to be true. 
I believe that many people keep themselves in darkness by expect- 
ing something more than this. Some of you will ask, ' Is there 
no appropriating of Christ? no putting out the hand of faith? 
no touching the hem of his garment V I quite grant, beloved, 
there is such a thing, but I do think it is inseparable from be- 
lieving the record. If the Lord persuades you of the glory and 
power of Immanuel, I feel persuaded that you cannot but choose 
him. It is like opening the shutters of a dark room ; the sun that 
moment shines in. So, the eye that is opened to the testimony of 
God, receives Christ that moment." 

In the case of a faithful ministry, success is the rule ; want of 
it the exception. For it is written, " In doing this thou shalt both 
save thyself and them that hear thee ;" 1 Tim. iv. 16. Mr. 
M'Cheyne expected it, and the Lord exceeded all his hopes. 

It was not yet common for persons in anxiety to go to their pas- 
tor for advice ; but soon it became an almost weekly occurrence. 
While it was yet rare, two of his young people wrote a joint 
note, asking liberty to come and speak with him, '* For we are 
anxious about our souls." Among those who came, there were 
those who had striven against the truth — persons, who used to run 
out of hearing when the Bible was read — throw down a tract if 
the name of God was in it — go quickly to sleep after a Sabbath's 
pleasure in order to drown the fear of dropping into hell. There 
were many whose whole previous life had been but a threadbare 
profession. There were some open sinners, too. In short, the 
Lord glorified himself by the variety of those whom his grace 
subdued, and the variety of means by which his grace reached 
its object. 

One could tell him that the reading of the chapter in the church 
with a few remarks, had been the time of her awakening. Ano- 
ther had been struck to the heart by some expression he used in 
his first prayer before sermon one Sabbath morning. But most 
were arrested in the preaching of the word. An interesting case 
was that of one who was aroused to concern during his sermon 


on " Unto whom coming as unto a living stone." As he spoke of 
the Father taking the gem out of his bosom, and laying it down 
for a foundation-stone, she felt in her soul, '* I know nothing of 
this precious stone ; I am surely not converted." This led her to 
come and speak with him. She was not under deep conviction ; 
but before going away he said, " You are a poor, vile worm ; it is 
a wonder the earth does not open and swallow you up." These 
words were blessed to produce a very awful sense of sin. She 
came a second time with the arrows of the Almighty drinking up 
her spirit. For three months she remained in this state, till hav- 
ing once more come to him for counsel, the living voice of Jc;?us 
gave life to her soul while he was speaking of Christ's words — 
" W thou knewest the gift of God," &c., and she went away re- 
joicing. Some awakened souls told him that since they were 
brought under concern, very many sermons, which they had 
heard from him before, and completely forgotten, had been brought 
back to mind. He used to remark that this might show what 
the Resurrection day would awaken in the souls of gospel 

In dealing with souls he used to speak very plainly. One came 
to him who assented to his statement of the gospel, and yet re- 
fused to be comforted, always looking upon coming to Christ as 
something in addition to really believing the record God has given 
of his Son. He took John iii. 16, 17 — "For God so loved the 
world that." &c. The woman said that " God did not care for 
her." Upon this he at once convicted her of making God a liar ; 
and, as she went away in deep distress, his prayer was — " Lord, 
give her light." 

To another person, who spoke of having times of great joy, he 
showed that these were times for worshipping God in the spirit. 
" You would come to a king when you were full dressed ; so 
come to God, and abide in his presence as long as you can." 

Sometimes he would send away souls, of whom he entertained 
good hope, with a text suited to their state. "If ye live after the 
flesh, ye shall die ; but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the 
deeds of the body, ye shall live." Or he would say, " I hear of 
you that God has opened your heart ; but remember not to trust 
to man's opinion. Remember an all-seeing Christ will be the 
judge at the great day." To another he said, " I have long ho])ed 
you were really under the wings of the Saviour ; if it be so, abide 
there ; do not be like Demas." 

To a prayer-meeting, consisting of a few young men that had 
been awakened to flee from wrath, he gave this advice, "Guard 
against all ambition to excel one another in expression. Remem- 
ber the most spiritual prayer is a ' groan which cannot be uttered,* 
Rom. viii. 20 ; or a cry of ' Abba. Father,' Gal. iv. 6." 

There is very little recorded in his diary during these years; 
but what does exist will be read with deepest mterest. 


"March 28, 1838, Thursday. — I think of making this more a 
journal of my people, and the success, or otherwise, of my minis- 
try. The first success among my people was at the time of my 
first sacrament ; then it appeared. My first sermon, on Isaiah Ixi. 

1, was blessed to and some others. That on Ezek, xxii. 14, 

' Can thine heart endure,' &c., was blessed to awaken M. L. 
That on Song v. 2, 'Open to me,' &c., the Sabbath after the 
Sacrament, was blessed to another. These were happy days. 
M. D. was awakened by coming to the communicants' class. 
Another by the action sermon. At the words, ' I know thee, 
Judas,' she trembled, and would have risen from the table. 
These were glad days when one and another were awakened. 
The people looked very stirred and anxious, every day coming 
to hear the words of eternal life — some inquiring in private every 
week. Now there is little of this. About fifteen cases came to 
my knowledge the first Sacrament, and two awakened who seena 
to have gone back. About eleven last Sacrament — four of these 
young men. Several Christians seemed quickened to greater joy, 
and greater love one to another. Now it appears to me there is 
much falling off: few seem awakened — few weep as they used 
to do." 

" April 1 — Sacrament-day. — Sweet season we have had. Never 
was more straightened and unfurnished in myself, and yet much 
helped. Kept in perfect peace, my mind being stayed on Thee. 
Preached on 'My God, my God,' &c. ; Psalm xxii. 1. Not fully 
prepared, yet found some peace in it. Fenced the tables from 
Christ's eyes of flame. Little help in serving the tables. Much 
peace in communion. Happy to be one with Christ ! /, a vile 
worm ; He, the Lord my righteousness. Mr. Gumming of Dum- 
barney served some tables ; Mr. Somerville of Anderston served 
three, and preached in the evening on, ' Thou art all fair, my love.' 
Very full and refreshing. All sweet, sweet services. Come, thou 
north wind, and blow, thou south, upon this garden I May this 
time be greatly blessed ! It is my third communion ; it may be 
my last. My Lord may come, or I may be sitting at another 
table soon. Moody, Candlish, and Mellis, were a good prepara- 
tion for this day ; and the sweet word from Gumming yesterday, 
* When the poor and needy seek water,' &c. Lord, grant some 
awakening this day — to some bringing peace — comfort to mourn- 
ers — fullness to believers — an advance in holiness in me and my 
children ! 3 John iv. Lord, wean me from my sins, from my 
cares, and from this passing world. May Christ be all in all to 

" Admitted about twenty-five young communicants ; kept two 
back, and one or two stayed back. Some of them evidently 
brought to Christ. May the Lord be their God, their comforter, 
their all ! May the morrow bring still richer things to us, that 


we may say as of to-night, • Thou hast kept the good wine until 
now.' " 

Toward the close of this same year some of his notices are as 
follows : — 

" October 7 — Evening. — In the Gaelic Chapel, on * I know that 
my Redeemer liveth,' with more seeming power on the people than 
for a while. I never remember of compelling souls to come into 
Christ so much as in that discourse." 

" Oct. 8. — A person of the name of came ; I hope really 

awakened by last night's work ; rather, by thee. I do not know, 
however, whether grace is begun or not." 

"Oct. 14. — Preached on ' Forgiving injuries.' Afternoon — on 
the Second Coming: ' Let your loins be girded about,' &c. Felt 
its power myself more than ever before, how the sudden coming 
of the Saviour constrains to a holy walk, separate from sin. Eve- 
ning — Preached it over in the Ferry." 

"Oct. 21. — Met young communicants in the evening. Good 
hope of all but one." 

" Oct. 22. — A Jew preached in my church, Mr. Frey, to a 
crowded house. Felt much moved in hearing an Israelite after 
the flesh." 

" Oct. 23. — Preached to sailors aboard the ' Dr. Carey,' in the 
Docks. About 200, very attentive and impressed-like. On ' I 
know that my Redeemer liveth.' May the seed sown on the wa- 
ters be found after many days." 

" November 1 — Fast-day.— Afternoon— Mr. C. on ' The Thief 
on the Cross.' A most awakening and engaging sermon, enough 
to make sinners fly like a cloud, and as doves to their windows. 
The ofl^ers of Christ were let down very low, so that those low of 
stature may take hold." 

" Nov. 5. — Mr. died this morning at seven o'clock. O 

that I may take warning, lest, after preaching to others, I myself 
be a castaway. Love of popularity is said to have been his be- 
setting sin." 

" December 2. — Errol communion. Heard Mr. Grierson preach 
on Christ's entry into Jerusalem. Served two tables. Evening 
— Preached to a large congregation, on ' Unto you, O men, 1 call,' 
&c. The free invitation of the Saviour. May some find him 
this day !" 

In addition to the other blessings which the Lord sent by his 
means to the place where he labored, it was obvious to all that 
the tone of Christians was raised, as much by his holy walk, as by 
his heavenly ministry. Yet, during these pleasant days, he had 
much reproach to bear. He was tlie object of surpercilious con- 
tempt to formal, cold-hearted ministers, and of bitter hatred to 
many of the ungodly. At this day, there are both ministers and 
professing Christians of whom Jesus would say, "The world can- 
not hate you," (John vii. 7), for the world cannot hate itself; but 


It was not so with Mr. M'Cheyne. Very deep was the enmity 
borne to him by some — all the deeper, because the only cause of 
it was his likeness to his Master. But nothing turned him aside. 
He was full of ardor, yet ever gentle, and meek, and generous ; 
full of zeal, yet never ruffled by his zeal ; and not only his strength 
of "fu'st love" (Rev. ii. 4.), but even its warm glow, seemed in 
him to suffer no decay. 

Thus he spent the first years of his ministry in Dundee. The 
town began to feel that they had a peculiar man of God in the 
midst of them ; for he lived as a true son of Levi. " My cove- 
nant was with him of life and peace, and I gave them to him for 
the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 
The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found on 
his lips ; he walked with me in peace and equity ; and did turn 
many away from iniquity;" Mai. ii. 5,6. 


" Here am I ; send me." — Isaiah vi. 8. 

Though engaged night and day with his flock in St. Peter's, 
Mr. M'Cheyne ever cherished a missionary spirit. " This place 
hardens me for a foreign land," was his remark on one occasion. 
This spirit he sought to kindle yet more by reading missionary in- 
telligence for his own use, and often to his people at his weekly 
prayer-meeting. The necessities both of his own parish, and of 
the world at large, lay heavy on his soul ; and when an opportu- 
nity of evangelizing occurred, there was none in Scotland more 
ready to embrace it. He seemed one who stood with his loins 
girt — " Here am I ; send me." 

Another motive to incessant activity, was the decided impres- 
sion on his mind that his career would be short. From the very 
first days of his ministry he had a strong feeling of this nature ; 
and his friends remember how his letters used to be sealed with 
this seal," The night cometh." At a time when he was apparently 
in his usual health, we were talking together on the subject of the 
Premillennial Advent. We had begun to speak of the practical 
influence which the belief of that doctrine might have. At length 
he said, " that he saw no force in the arguments generally urged 
against it, though he had difficulties of his own in regard to it. 
And, perhaps (he added), it is well for you, who enjoy constant 
health, to be so firmly persuaded that Christ is thus to come ; but 


my sickly frame makes me feel every day that my time may be 
very short." 

He was, therefore, in some measure prepared, when, in the 
midst of his hiborioLis duties, he was compelled to stand still and 
see what the Lord would do. 

In the close of 1838, some symptoms appeared that alarmed his 
fri'*nds. His cr)nstitution, never robust, began to feel the effects 
of unremitting labor ; for, occasionally, he would spend six hours 
in visiting, ;md then, the same evening, preach in some room to all 
the families whom he had that day visited. Very generally, too, 
on Sabbath, after preaching twice to his own flock, he was en- 
gaged in ministering somewhere else in the evening. But now, 
after any great exertion, he was attacked by violent palpitation of 
heart. It soon increased, affecting him in his hours of study ; and, 
at last, it became almost constant. Upon this, his medical advisers 
insisted on a total cessation of his public work ; for though, as yet, 
there was no organic change on his lungs, there was every reason 
to apprehend that that might be the result. Accordingly, with 
deep regret, he left Dundee to seek rest and change of occupation, 
hoping it would be only for a week or two. 

A liew days after leaving Dundee, he writes from Edinburgh, 
in reply to the anxious enquiries of his friend Mr. Grierson, " The 
beating of the heart is not now so constant as it was before. The 
pitcher draws more quietly at the cistern ; so that, by the kind 
providence of our Heavenly Father, I may be spared a Kttle 
longer before the silver cord be loosed, and the golden bowl be 

It was found that his complaints were such as would be likely 
to give way under careful treatment, and a temporary cessation 
from all exertion. Under his father's roof, therefore, in Edin- 
burgh, he resigned himself to the will of his Father in heaven. 
But deeply did he feel the trial of being laid aside from his loved 
employment, though he learnt of Him who was meek and lowly, 
to make the burden light in his own way, by saying, ''Even so, 
Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight." He wrote to Mr. 
Grierson again, January 5, 1839, " I hope this alfliction will be 
blessed to me. I always feel much need of God's afflicting hand. 
In the whirl of active labor there is so little time for watching, 
and for bewniling, and seeking grace, to oppose the sins of our 
ministry, that I always feel it a blessed thing when the Saviour 
takes me aside from the crowd, as he took the blind man out of 
the town, and removes the veil, and clears away obscuring mists; 
and by his word and spirit leads to deeper peace and a holier 
walk. Ah ! there is nothing like a calm look into the eternal 
world to teach us the emptiness of iiuman praise, the sinfulness 
of self-seeking and vain-glory — to teach us the preciousness of 
Christ, who is called ' The Tried Stone.' I have been able to be 
twice at College to hear a lecture from Dr. Chalmers. I have 


also been privileged to smooth down the dying pillow of an old 
school-companion, leading him to a fuller joy and peace in be- 
lieving. A poor heavy-laden soul, too, from Larbert, I have had 
the joy of leading toward the Saviour. So that even when absent 
from my work, and when exiled, as it were, God allows me to do 
some little things for his name." 

He was led to look more carefully into this trying dispensation, 
ar 1 began to anticipate blessed results from it to his flock. He 
was well aware how easily the flock begin to idolize the shep- 
herd, and how prone the shepherd is to feel somewhat pleased 
with this sinful partiality of his people, and to be uplifted by his 
success. " I sometimes think," is his remark in a letter, dated 
January 18, " that a great blessing may come to my people in my 
absence. Often God does not bless us when we are in the midst 
of our labors, lest we shall say, ' My hand and my eloquence have 
done it.' He removes us into silence, and then pours ' down a 
blessing so that there is no room to receive it ;' so that all that 
see it cry out, ' It is the Lord !' This was the way in the South 
Sea Islands. May it really be so with my dear people !" Nor 
did he err in this view of the dispensation. All these ends, and 
more also, were to be accomplished by it. 

An anticipation like that which is expressed in this and other 
letters, especially in his Pastoral Letter of March 20, may justly 
be regarded as a proof from experience that the Lord teaches 
his people to expect and pray for what he means soon to work. 
And here the Lord accomplished his designs in the kindest of all 
ways ; for he removed his servant for a season from the flock to 
which he had been so blessed, lest even his own children should 
begin to glory in man ; but yet he took that servant to another 
sphere of labor in the meantime ; and then, when the blessing 
was safely bestowed, brought him back to rejoice over it. 

He was still hoping for, and submissively asking from the Lord, 
speedy restoration to his people in Dundee, and occasionally 
sending to them an epistle that breathed the true pastor's soul ; 
when one day, as he was walking with Dr. Candlish, conversing 
on the Mission to Israel which had lately been resolved on, an 
idea seemed suddenly suggested to Dr. Candlish. He asked Mr. 
M'Cheyne what he would think of " being useful to the Jewish 
cause, during his cessation from labor, by going abroad to make 
personal inquiries into the state of Israel f The lucc, thus sud- suggested, led to all the after results of the Mission oi lu- 
quiry. Mr. M'Cheyne found himself all at once called to carry sal- 
vation to the Jew, as he had hitherto done to the Gentile, and his 
soul was filled with joy and wonder. His medical friends highly 
approved of the proposal, as being likely to conduce very much 
to the removal of his complaints — the calm, steady excitement of 
such a journey being likely to restore the tone of his whole con- 


Dr. Black of Aberdeen readily consented to use his remarkable 
talents as a scholar in this cause ; and Dr. Keith intimated his ex- 
pectation of soon joining the deputation. I also had been chosen 
to go forth on this mission of love to Israel ; but some difficulties 
stood in the way of my leaving my charge at Collace. In these 
circumstances, Mr. M'Cheyne wrote to me, March 12, from 

"My HRAK A. — I have received so many tokens for good from 
God in this matter, that it were a shame indeed if I did not trust 
him to perfe(;t all which concerns me. I am glad you have de- 
termined to trust all in the hands of Israel's God. I am quite 
ready to go this week, or next week, but am deeply anxious to 
be sure that you are sent with me. You know, dear A., I could 
not labor in this cause, nor enjoy it, if you were not to be with 
me in it. Would you be ready to give your Jewish lecture op 
the evening of vSabbath week? * * * And now 

pray for us, that we may be sent of God ; and, weak as we are, 
that we may be made Boanerges — that we may be blessed to win 
some souls, and to stir up Christians to love Zion. Much interest 
is 'already excited, and I do look for a blessing. Speak to your 
people as on the brink of eternity. * * * ^g ^q 

books, I am quite at a loss. My Hebrew Bible, Greek Testament, 
&c., and perhaps Bridge's Christian Ministry for general purposes 
— I mean, for keeping us m mind of our ministerial work. I do 
hope we shall go forth in the spirit ; and though straitened in 
language, may we not be blessed, as Brainerd was, through an 
interpreter ? May we not be blessed also to save some English, 
and to stir up missionaries ? My health is only tolerable ; I would 
be better if we were once away. I am often so troubled, as to 
be made willing to go or stay, to die or to live. Yet it is encou- 
raging to be used in the Lord's service again, and in so interesting 
a manner. What if we should see the heavenly Jerusalem before 
the earthly ? I am taking drawing materials, that I may carry 
away remembrances of the Mount of Olives, Tabor, and the Sea 
of Galilee." 

The interest that this proposed journey excited in Scotland was 
very great. Nor was it merely the somewhat romantic interest 
attached to the land where the Lord done most of his mighty 
works ; there were also in it the deeper feelings of a Scriptural 
persuasion that Israel was still " beloved lor the fathers' sake." 
For some time previous, Jerusalem had come into mind, and 
many godly pastors were standing as watchmen over its ruined 
walls (Isa. Ixii. 6), stirring up the Lord's remembrances. Mr. 
M'Cheyne had been one of these. His views of the impor- 
tance of the Jews in the eye of God, and therefore, of their 
importance as a sphere of missionary labor, were very clear 
and decided. He agreed in the expectation expressed in one of 
the Course of Lectures delivered before the deputation set outi 


that we might anticipate an outpouring of the Spirit when our 
Church should stretch out its hands to the Jew as well as to the 
Gentile. In one letter, he says, " To seek the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel is an object very near to my heart, as my people 
know it has ever been. Such an enterprize may probably draw 
down unspeakable blessings on the Church of Scotland, according 
to the promise, ' they shall prosper who love thee.' " In another, 
" I now see plainly that all our views about the Jews being the 
chief object of missionary exertion are plain and sober truths, ac- 
cording to the Scripture." Again, " I feel convinced that if we 
pray that the world may be converted in God's way, we will seek 
the good of the Jews, and the more we do so, the happier we will 
be in our own soul. You should always keep up a knowledge of 
the prophecies regarding Israel." In his preaching he not unfre- 
quently said on this subject, *' We should be like God in his pecu- 
liar aftections ; and the whole Bible shows that God has ever had, 
and still has, a peculiar love to the Jews." 

The news of his proposed absence alarmed his flock at Dundee. 
They manifested their care for him more than ever ; and not a 
few wrote expostulatory letters. To one of these well meant re- 
monstrances, he replied, " I rejoice exceedingly in the interest you 
take in me, not so much for my own sake as that I hope it is a 
sign you know and love the Lord Jesus. Unless God had him- 
self shut up the door of return to my people, and opened his new 
door to me, I never could have consented to go. I am not at all un- 
willing to spend and be spent in God's service, though I have often 
found that the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 
But God has very plainly shown me that I may perform a deeply 
important work for his ancient people, and at the same time be in 
the best way of seeking a return of health." — " A minister will 
make a poor savior in the day of wrath. It is not knowing a 
minister, or loving one, or hearing one, or having a name to live 
that will save. You need to have your hand on the head of the 
Lamb for yourselves ; Lev. i. 4. You need to have your eye on 
the brazen serpent for yourselves; John iii. 14, 15. I fear I will 
need to be a swift witness against many of my people in the day 
of the Lord, that they looked to me, and not to Christ, when I 
preached to them. I always feared that some of you loved to hear 
the word, who do not love to do it. I always feared there were 
many of you who loved the Sabbath meetings, and the class, and 
the Thursday evenings, who yet were not careful to walk with 
God, to be meek, chaste, holy, loving, harmless, Christ-like, God- 
like. Now, God wants you to think, that the only end of a gospel 
ministry is, that you may be holy. Believe me, God himself could 
not make you happy, except you be holy." 

At this crisis in his people's history he sought from the Lord 
one to supply his place — one who would feed the flock and gather 
in wanderers during their own pastor's absence. The Lord 

VOL. I. 6 


granted him his desire by sending Mr. Wilh'am C. Bums, son of 
the minister of Kilsyth. In a letter to him, dated March 12th, the 
following remarkable words occur : — " You are given in answer 
to prayer, and these gifts are, I bebeve, always without exceiition 
blessed. I hope you may be a thousand times more blessed among 
them than ever I was. Perhaps there are many souls that would 
never have been saved under my ministry, who may be touched 
under yours ; and God has taken this method of bringing you 
into my place. His name is Wonderful." 

This done, and being already disengaged from his flock, he set 
out for London to make arrangements for the rest of the deputa- 
tion, who soon after were all sent forth by the brethren with many 
prayers. None had more prayers offered in their behalf than he — 
and they were not offered in vain. During all his journeyings the 
Lord strengthened him. and saved him out of all distresses. 

It was a singular event — often still it looks like a dream — that 
four ministers should be so suddenly called away from their quiet 
labors in the towns and villages of Scotland, and be found in a 
few weeks traversing the land of Israel, with their Bibles in their 
hand, eye-witnesses of prophecy fulfilled, and spies of the naked- 
ness of Israel's worship and leanness of soul. The details of that 
journey need not be given here. They have been already re- 
corded in the "Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews, 
from the Church of Scotland, in 1839." But there are some inci- 
dents worthy to be preserved, which could find a place only in 
such a record of private life and feelings as we are now en- 
gaged in. 

VVhen Mr. M'Cheyne was on board the vessel that carried him 
to London, he at once discovered an interesting young Jew, who 
seemed, however, unwilling to be recognized as belonging to the 
seed of Abraham. He made several attempts to draw this young 
Israelite into close conversation ; and betbre parting read with 
him the first Psalm in Hebrew, and pressed home the duty of me- 
ditating on the Word of the Lord. In visiting Bethnal Green, he 
has noted down that it was very sweet to hear. Jewish children 
sing a hymn to Jesus, the burden of which 1.3'^)7 ITl^tO " Slain 
for us!" ■ ' ' " 

The awful profanation of the holy Sabbath which we witnessed 
on the streets of Paris, called forth the following appeal in a let- 
ter to Mr. Macdonald of Blairgowrie. His spirit had been stined 
in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. "Stand 
in the breach, dear friend, and lift up your vo !ce like a trumpet, 
lest Scotland become another France. You know how many in 
our own parishes trample on the holy day. They do not know 
how sweet it is to walk with God all that holy day. IsaiyJi Iviii. 
11 — 14 is a sweet text to preach from. Exodus xxxi. 13. is ;ilso 
very precious, showing that the real sanctilying of the Sabbath 
is one of God's signs or marks which he puts upon his people. It 


is one of the letters of the new name, which no one knoweth but 
they who receive it." 

In liis brief notes during the first part of the journey, he has 
seldom failed to mark our season of united prayer, such as those 
in the cabin of the vessel on the passage to Genoa ; for these 
were times of refreshing to his spirit. And his feelings as he 
stood in that city, and surveyed its palaces, are expressed in a 
few lines which he sent homeward from the spot. " A foreign 
land draws us nearer God. He is the only one whom we know 
here. We go to him as to one we know: all else is strange. 
Every step I take, and every new country I see. makes me leel 
more that there is nothing real, nothing true, but what is everlast- 
ing. The whole world lieth in wickedness : its judgments are 
fast hastening. The marble palaces, among which I have been 
wandering to-night, shall soon sink like a millstone in the waters 
of God's righteous anger ; but he that doeth the will of God 
abidelh for ever.'" 

At Valetta, in the island of Malta, he wrote — " My heart beats 
a little to-day, but another sail will do me good. One thino- I 
know, that 1 am in the hands of my Father in heaven, who is all 
love lo me — not for what I am in myself, but for the beauty he 
sees in Immanuel." 

The classic shores of Italy and Greece are invested with a pe- 
culiar interest, such as may raise deep emotions even in a sanc- 
tified soul. " We tried to recollect many of the studies of our 
boyhood. But what is classic learning to us now ? I count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 
my Lord. And yet these recollections tinged every object, and 
afforded us a most lawful pleasure." 

During our voyage, it was his delight to search into the Scrip- 
tures, just as at home. And so much did he calculate on an un- 
ceasing study of the Word during all cur journey, that he took 
with him some notes I had written on each chapter of the Book 
of Leviticus, observing it would be suitable meditation for us 
while busy with Jewish minds. At home and abroad he had an 
insatiable appetite for all the Word — both for the types of the 
Old Testament and the plain text of the New. On one occasion, 
before leaving home, in studying Numbers iv., he fixed the different 
duties assigned to the Priests on his memory, by means of the fol- 
lowing lines : — 

" The Kohathues upon their shoulder bear 
The holy vessels covered with all care ; 
The Gershoidtes receive an easier charge. 
Two waggons full of cords and curtains large; 
MerarVs sons four ponderous waggons load 
With boards and pillars of the house of God." 

He acted on the principle, that whatever God has revealed, must 
deserve our study and prayerful investigation. 


Arrived at Alexandria, in Egypt, and thence proceeding onward 
to Palestine by tlie w^ay of the Desert, we found ourselves set 
down on a new stage of experience. Mr. M'Cheyne observed on 
the silence of the desert places — " It is a remarkable feeling to be 
quite alone in a desert place ; it gives similar feelings to fasting ; 
it brings God near. Living in tents, and moving among such 
lonely scenes for many days, awaKe many new ideas. It is a 
strange life we lead in the wilderness. Round and round there is 
a complete circle of sand and wilderness shrubs ; above, a blue 
sky without a cloud, and a scorching sun which often made the 
thermometer stand at 96° in our tents. When evening came, the 
sun went down as it does in the ocean, and the stars came riding 
forth in their glory ; and we used to pitch all alone, with none but 
our poor ignorant Bedouins and their camels, and our all-knowing, 
all-loving God beside us. When morning began to dawn, our 
habitations were taken down. Often we have found ourselves 
shelterless before being fully dressed. What a type of the tent 
of our body ! Ah ! how often taken down before the soul is made 
meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." To Mr. Bonar of 
Larbert he writes : " I had no idea that travelling in the wilder- 
ness was so dreadful a thing as it is. The loneliness I often felt 
quite solemnized me. The burning sun overhead — round and 
round a circle of barren sand, chequered only by a few prickly 
shrubs (' the heath of the wilderness,' of which Jeremiah speaks) — 
no rain, not a cloud, the wells often like that of Marah, and far 
between. I now understand well the murmurings of Israel. I 
feel that our journey proved and tried my own heart very much." 
When we look back, and remember that he who thus stands on 
the sandy desert road between Egypt and Palestine, and looks on 
its singular scenery, is one who but lately was to be found busy 
night and day in dealing with the souls of men in the densely peo- 
pled streets of a town teeming with population, we are led to 
wonder at the ways of the Lord. But, is it not a moment which 
may remind us, that the God who sent Elijah to the brook at 
Cherith, is the same God still ? and that the wise, considerate, 
loving Master, who said, "Come into a desert place and rest 
awhile," is as loving, considerate, and wise as he was then ? 

At Balteen, a small village in Egypt, I well remember the in- 
dignation that fired his countenance, when our Arab attendants 
insisted on travelling forward on the Sabbath-day, rather than 
continue sitting under a few palm-trees, breathing a sultry, fur- 
nace-like atmosphere, with nothing more than just such supply of 
food as sufficed. He could not bear the thought of being deprived 
of the Sabbath-rest ; it was needful for our souls as much in the 
wilderness as in the crowded city ; and if few glorify God in that 
desolate land, so much the more were we called on to fill these 
solitudes with our songs of praise. It was in this light he viewed 
our position ; and when we had prevailed, and were seated unde 


the palms, he was excited to deep emotion, though before quite 
unnerved by the heat, at the sight of a row of poor wretched 
Egyptians, who gathered round us. " O that I could speak their 
language, and tell them of salvation !" was his impassioned wish. 

An event occurred at that time in which the hand of God after- 
wards appeared very plain, though it then seemed very dark to 
us. Dr. Black fell from his camel in the midst of the sandy desert,, 
and none of all our company could conjecture what bearing on the 
object of our Mission this sad occurrence could have. Is it a 
frown on our undertaking ? or can it really be a movement of His 
kind hand? We often spoke of it; in our visit to Galilee we 
thought that we saw some purposes evolving ; but there was still 
sometliuig unexplained. Now, however, the reason appears; 
even that event was of the Lord, in wise and kind design. But 
for that fall, our fathers in the deputation would not have sailed 
up the Danube on their way to Vienna, and Pesth would not have 
been visited. This accident, which mainly disabled Dr. Black 
from undertaking the after fatigue of exploring Galilee, was the 
occasion of directing the steps of our two fathers to that station, 
where a severe stroke of sickness was made the means of detain- 
mg Dr. Keith till they had learned that there was an open door 
among the Jews. And there, accordingly, it has been that the 
Lord has poured down his spirit on the Jews that have come to 
our Missionaries, so remarkably that no Jewish Mission seems 
ever to have been blessed with deeper conversions. There is 
nothing but truth in the remark made by one of our number ; 

T)^^'u »'^^^'^ ^^'^ ^^^"^ ^^® camel was the first step towards 
Pesth." " Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they 
shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord ;" Psalm cvii. 42. 
Indeed, whether it was that we were prepared to expect, and 
therefore were peculiarly ready to observe, or whether it was 
really the case that the watchful eye of our Lord specially guided 
us, certain it is that we thought we could perceive the whole 
course we took signally marked by Providence. There were 
many prayers in Scotland ascending up in our behalf, and the 
High Priest gave the answer by shining upon our path. Mr. 
M'Cheyne has stated—" For much of our safety I feel indebted to 
the prayers of my people, I mean the Christians among them, who 
do not forget us. If the veil of the world's machinery were lifted 
off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of 
God's children." 

Many things lost somewhat of their importance in our view, 
when examined amid the undistracted reflections of the long 
desert journey, where for many days we had quiet, like the quiet 
of death, around us all night long, and even during the bright day. 
It IS the more interesting, on this very account, to know his feel- 
ings there on the subject of the ministry. As his camel slowly 
bore him over the soft sandy soil, much did he ruminate on the 


happy dajs when he was permitted to use all his strength in 
preaching Jesus to dying men. " Use your health while you have 
it, my dear friend and brother. Do not cast away peculiar op- 
portunities that may never come again. You know not when 
your last Sabbath with your people may come. Speak for eter- 
nity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken 
by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God's 
Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin. 
This was my great fault in the ministry. Remember it is God, 
and not man, that must have the glory. It is not much speaking, 
but much faith, that is needed. Do not forget us. Do not forget 
the Saturday night meeting, nor the Monday morning thanks- 
giving." Thus he wrote on his way to a fellow laborer in Scot- 

On our first Sabbath in the Holy Land, our tent had been pitched 
in the vicinity of a colony of ants. It was in the tribe of Simeon 
we were encamped ; it was the scenery of the Promised Land 
we had around us ; and one of the similitudes of the blessed Word 
was illustrated within our view. He opened his Bible at Prov. 
vi. 6-8, and, as he read, noted — •' I. Consider her ways. Most 
souls are lost for want of consideration. II. The ant has no 
guide, overseer, or ruler ; no officer, no one to command or en- 
courage her. How differently situated is the child of God. 
III. Provideth her meat in the summer, &c. Some have thought 
that this teaches us to heap up money ; but quite the reverse. 
The ant lays up no store for the future. It is all for present use. 
She is always busy summer and winter. The lesson is one of con- 
stant diligence in the Lord's work." 

Many a time in these days, when our attendants in the evening 
were driving in the stakes of our tent and stretching its cords, he 
would lie down on the ground under some tree that sheltered him 
from the dew. Completely exhausted by the long day's ride, he 
would lie almost speechless for half an hour ; and then, when the 
palpitation of his heart had a little abated, would propose that we 
two should pray together. Often, too, did he say to me, when thus 
stretched on the ground — not impatiently, but very earnestly — 
" Shall I ever preach to my people again '?" I was often reproved 
by his unabated attention to personal holiness ; for this care was 
never absent from his mind, whether he was at home in his quiet 
chamber, or on the sea, or in the desert. Holiness in him was 
manifested, not by efforts to perform duty, but in a way so natu- 
ral, that you recognized therein the easy outflowing of the indwell- 
ing Spirit. The fountain springing up unto everlasting life (John 
iv. 14) in his soul, welled forth its living waters alike in the fa- 
miliar scenes of his native Scotland, and under the olive-trees of 
Palestine. Prayer and meditation on the Word were never for- 
gotten ; and a peace that the world could not give kept his heart 
and mind. When we were detained a day at Gaza, in very tan- 


talizing circumstances, his remark was, " Jehovah Jireh ; we are 
at that mount again." It was sweet at any time to be with him, 
for both nature and grace in him drew the very heart ; but there 
were moments of enjoyment in these regions of Palestine that 
drew every cord still closer, and created unknown sympathies. 
Such was that evening when we climbed Samson's Hill together. 
Sitting there, we read over the references to the place in the 
Word of God ; and then he took out his pencil and sketched the 
scene, as the sun was sinking in the West. This done, we sang 
some verses of a Psalm, appropriate to the spot, offered up prayer, 
and, slowly descending, conversed of all we saw, and of all that 
was brought to mind by the scenery around us, till we reached 
our tent. 

In approaching Jerusalem, we came up the Pass of Latroon. 
He writes, " The last day's journey to Jerusalem was the finest I 
ever had in all my life. For four hours we were ascending the 
rocky pass upon our patient camels. It was like the finest of our 
Highland scenes, only the trees and flowers, and the voice of the 
turtle, told us that it was Immanuel's land." Riding along, he re- 
marked, that to have seen the Plain of Judea and this mountain- 
pass, was enough to reward us for all our fatigue ; and then be- 
gan to call up passages of the Old Testament Scriptures which 
might seem to refer to such scenery as that before us. 

During our ten days at Jerusalem, there were few objects with- 
in reach that we did not eagerly seek to visit. " We stood at the 
turning of the road where Jesus came near, and beheld the city, 
and wept over it. And if we had had more of the mind that was in 
Jesus, I think we should have wept also." This was his remark 
in a letter homeward ; and to Mr. Bonar of Larbert, he expressed 
his feelings in regard to the Mount of Olives and its vicinity: "I 
remember, the day when I saw you last, you said, that there were 
other discoveries to be made than those in the physical world — 
that there were sights to be seen in the spiritual world, and depths 
♦o be penetrated, of far greater importance. I have often thought 
of the truth of your remark. But if there is a place on earth 
where physical scenery can help us to discover divine things, I 
think it is Mount Olivet. Gethsemane at your feet leads your 
soul to meditate on Christ's love and determination to undergo di- 
vine wrath for us. The cup was siet before him there, and there 
he said, 'Shall I not drink it?' The spot where he wept makes 
you think of his divine compassion, mingled with his human ten- 
derness — his awful justice, that would not spare the city — his su- 
perhuman love, that wept over its coming misery! Turning the 
other way, and looking to the south-east, you see Bethany, re- 
minding you of his love to his own — that his name is love — that 
in all our afflictions he is afflicted — that those who are in their 
graves shall one day come forth at his command. A little far- 
tlier down you see the Dead Sea, stretching far among the moun- 


tains its still and sullen waters. This deepens and solemnizes a.i, 
and makes you go away, saying, ' How shall we escape, if we ne- 
glect so great salvation?'" 

He wrote to another friend in Scotland, from Mount Zion, 
where we were then dwelling. 

" Mount Zion, June 12, 1839. 

" My dear friend, — Now that we are in the most wonderful 
spot in all this world — where Jesus lived, and walked, and prayed, 
and died, and will come again — I doubt not you will be anxious 
to hear how we come on. I am thankful that ever he privileged 
us to come to this land. I heard of my flock yesterday by a 
letter from home — the first I have received, dated 8th May. 
♦ * * "VYg ai-g living in one of the missionaries' houses 
on Mount Zion. My window looks out upon where the Temple 
was, the beautiful Mount of Olives rising behind. The Lord that 
made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. — Yours," &c. 

One evening, after our visit to Sychar, he referred to the Bible 
which I had dropped into Jacob's Well. We were then resting 
from our journey in our tents. Soon after, he penned on a leaf 
of his note-book the following fragment : — 

" My own loved Bible must I part from thee, 
Companion of my toils by laud and sea ; 
Man of my counsels, soother of distress, 
Guide of my steps through this world's wilderness! 
In darkest nights, a lantern to my feet ; 
In gladsome days, as dropping honey sweet. 
"When first I parted from my quiet home, 
At thy command, for Israel's good to roam, 
Thy gentle voice said, ' For Jerusalem pray, 
So shall Jehovah prosper all thy way.' 
W^hen through the lonely wilderness we strayed, 
Sighing in vain for palm-trees' cooling shade, 
Thy words of comfort hush'd each rising fear, 
' The shadow of thy mighty Rock is near.' 
And when we pitched our tents on Judah's hills, 
Or thoughtfal mused beside Siloa's rills ; 
When'er we climbed Mount Olivet, to guze 
Upon the sea, where stood in ancient days 
The heaven-struck Sodom 

Sweet record of the past, to faith's glad eyes, 

Sweet promiser of glories yet to rise !" * 

At the foot of Carmel, during the seven days we were in quar- 
antine under the brow of the hill, we had time to recall many for- 
mer scenes ; and in these circumstances he wrote the hymn, 
*' The Fountain of Siloam." 

Here, too, he had leisure to write home ; and most graphically 
does he describe our journey from Alexandria onward. 

• It is a somewhat curious occurrence, that the remnants of this Bible were found, 
and drawn up from the bottom of the well, in July, 1843, by Dr. Wilson, and his 
fellow-traveller, who employed a Samaritan from Sychar to descend and exiunine 
the well. 


"Cakmel, Ju7ie 20, 1839 

" My dear Father, Mother, &c. — It is a long time since 1 
have been able to write to you — this being the first time since 
leaving Egypt that any one has appeared to carry letters for us. 
must, therefore, begin by telling you that, by the good hand of 
our God upon me, I am in excellent health, and have been ever since 
I wrote you last. Fatigues we have had many, and much greater 
than I anticipated ; hardships and dangers we have also encoun- 
tered, but God has brought us all safely through and in fully better 
condition than when we began. You must not imagine that I have 
altogether lost the palpitation of my heart, for it often visits me to 
humble and prove me ; still I believe it is a good deal better than 
it was, and its visits are not nearly so frequent. I hope very 
much, that in a cold bracing climate, and with less fatigue, I may, 
perhaps, not feel it at all. I was very thankful to receive your 
letter, dated 8th May — the first since leaving home. I was de- 
lighted to hear of your health and safety, and of the peaceful com- 
munion at St. Peter's. The public news was alarming and hum- 
bling.* I suppose I had better begin at the beginning, and go 
over all our journeyings from the land of Egypt through the howl- 
ing wilderness, to this sweet land of promise. I would have writ- 
ten jowrnalwise (as my mother would say) from time to time, so 
that I might have had an interesting budget of news ready ; but 
you must remember it is a more fatiguing thing to ride twelve or 
fifteen hours on a camel's back, in a sandy wilderness, than in our 
home excursions ; and I could often do nothing more than lie 
down on my rug and fall asleep. 

" We left AlexanA'ia on 16th of May 1839, parting from many 
kind friends in that strange city. We and our baggage were 
mounted on seventeen donkeys, like the sons of Jacob, when they 
carried corn out of Egypt. Our saddle was our bedding, viz., a 
rug to lie on, a pillow for the head, and a quilt to wrap ourselves 
in. We afterwards added a straw mat to put below all. We 
had procured two tents — one large, and a smaller one which 
Andrew and I occupy. The donkeys are nice nimble little 
animals, going about five miles an hour ; a wild Arab accom- 
panies each donkey. We have our two Arab servants, to whom 
I now introduce you — Ibrahim, a handsome small-made Egyptian, 
and Achmet the cook, a dark good-natured fellow, with a white 
turban and bare black legs. Ibrahim speaks a little English and 
Italian, and Achmet, Italian — in addition to their native Arabic. 
I soon made friends with our Arab donkey-men, learning Arabic 
words and phrases from them, which pleased them greatly. We 
journeyed by the Bay of Aboukir, close by the sea, which tem- 
pered the air of the desert. At night we reached Rosetta, a cu- 

* He alludes here to the decision of the House of Lords in the Auchterarder case. 


rious half-inhabited eastern town. We saw an eastern marriage, 
which highly pleased us, illustrating the parables. It was by torch- 
light. We slept in the convent. 17th, — Spent morning in Ro- 
setta: gave the monk a New Testament. Saw some of Egyptian 
misery in the bazaar. Saw the people praying in the mosque, 
Friday being the Moslem's day of devotion. In the evening we 
crossed the Nile in small boats. It is a tine river ; and its water, 
when filtered is sweet and pleasant. We often thought upon it in 
the desert. We slept that night on the sand, in our tents, by the 
sea-shore. 18th, — in six hours we came to Bourlos (you will see 
it in the map of the Society for Diffusing Useful Knowledge): 
were ferried across. Watched the fishermen castincr their nets into 
the sea: hot — hot. In two hours more through a palmy wilder- 
ness, we came to Balteen — "the Vale of Figs" — an Arab village 
of mud huts. You little know what an Arab house is. In gene- 
I'al, in Egypt, it is an exact square box, made of mud, with a low- 
hole for a door. The furniture is a mat and cooking things ; an 
oven made of mud. 19th, — Spent our Sabbath unoccupied in 
midst of the village ; the poor Arabs have no Sabbath. The 
thermometer 84° in tent. The governor called in the evening, 
and 'drank a cup of tea with great relish. The heat we felt much 
all day ; still it was sweet to rest and remember you all in the wil- 
derness. 20th, — At twelve at night, left Balteen by beautiful 
moonlight. Proceeding through a pleasant African wild of palms 
and brushwood, we reached the sea in two hours, and rode along, 
its waves washing our feet — very sleepy. We got a rest at mid- 
day, if rest it could be called, under that scorching sun, which I 
never will forget. Proceeding onward, at three o'clock we left 
the sea-shore, and perceived the minarets of Damietta. Before 
us the mirage cheated us often when we were very thirsty. We 
crossed the Nile again, a much smaller branch — the only remaining 
one — and soon found ourselves comfortably reclining on the divan 
of the British Consul, an Egyptian gentleman of some fortune and 
manners. He entertained us at supper in true Egyptian style ; pro- 
vided a room for us, where we spread our mats in peace. We 
spent the whole of the next day here, having sent off a Bedouin to 
have camels ready for us at San. The Consul entertained us in 
the same Egyptian style of hospitality, and sent us away the next 
day on board of a barge upon Lake Menzaleh. 2"2d, — Even 

E would not have been afraid to sail upon that lake. It is 

nowhere more than ten feet deep, and in general only four or five. 
We made an awning with our mats, and spent a very happy day. 
At evening we entered a canal among immense reeds. In moon- 
light the scene was truly romantic: we slept moored to the shore 
all night. Next morning (23) we reached San about ten. This 
evenmg and next mornmg we spent in exploring the ruins of the 
ancient Zoan. for this we find is the very spot. 

" Wandering alone, we were quite surprised to find great 


mounds of brick, and pottery, and vitrified stones. Andrew at 
last came upon beautiful obelisits. Next morning we examined 
all carefully, and found two sphinxes and many Egyptian obelisks. 
How wonderful to be treading over the ruins of the ancient capital 
of Egypt ! Isaiah xix. 12, " Where are the Princes of Zoan ?" 
Ezek. XXX. 14, " God has set fire in Zoan." This is the very place 
where Joseph was sold as a slave, and where Moses did his won- 
ders ; Psalm Ixxviii. 43. This was almost the only place where 
we have been in danger from the inhabitants. They are a wild 
race ; and our Arabs were afraid of them. You would have been 
afraid too, if you had seen, out of the door of our tent, our Bedou- 
ins keeping watch all night with their naked sabres gleaming in the 
moonlight, firing off their guns now and then, and keeping up a 
low chaunt to keep one another awake. No evil happened to us, 
and we feel that many pray for us, and that God is with us. 24th, 
— This day our journeyings on camels commenced, and continued 
till we came to Jerusalem. It is a strange mode of conveyance. 
You have seen a camel kneeling ; it is in this condition that you 
mount ; suddenly it rises first on its fore feet, and then on its hind 
feet. It requires great skill to hold yourself on during this opera- 
tion ; one time I was thrown fair over its head, but quite unhurt. 
When you find yourself exalted on the hunch of a camel, it is 
somewhat of the feeling of an aeronaut, as if you were bidding 
farewell to sublunary things ; but when he begins to move, with 
solemn pace and slow, you are reminded of your terrestrial origin, 
and that a wrong balance or turn to the side will soon bring you 
down from your giddy height. You have no stirrup, and gene- 
rally only your bed for your saddle ; you may either sit as on 
horseback, or as on a side-saddle — the latter is the pleasanter, 
though not the safer of the two. The camel goes about three miles 
an hour, and the step is so long that the motion is quite peculiar. 
You bend your head towards your knees every step. With a ver- 
tical sun above and a burning sand below, you may believe it is a 
very fatiguing mode of journeying. However, we thought of Re- 
becca and Abraham's servant (Gen. xxiv.), and listened with de- 
light to the wild Bedouins' plaintive song. That night, 24th, we 
slept at Menagie, a Bedouin mud village — palm trees and three 
wells, and an ocean of sand, formed the only objects of interest. 
25th, — Up by sunrise, and proceeded as before. The only event 
this day was Dr. Black's fall from his camel, which greatly alarmed 
us. He had fallen asleep, which you are very apt to do : we en- 
camped and used every restorative, so that we were able to pro- 
ceed the same evening to Gonatre, a miserable Arab post, having 
a governor ; not a tree. 26th, — The Sabbatli dawned sweetly ; 
thermometer 92° in tent ; could only lie on the mat and read 
Psalms. Evening — Gathered governor and Bedouins to hear some 
words of eternal life, Ibrahim interpreting. 27th, — Two very 
long stages brought us to Katieh ; thankful to God for his good- 


ness while we pitched by the date trees. 28th, — Spent the day at 
Katieh ; interesting interviews with the governor, a kind Arab ; 
thermometer 96° in tent. Same evening proceeded througli a 
greener desert among flocks of goats and sheep, and encamped by 
a well, Bir-el-Abd. 29th, — Another hot day in the desert ; came 
in sight of the sea, which gave us a refreshing breeze ; bathed in 
a salt lake as hot as a warm-bath. Evening — Encampment at 
Abugiibany. 30th, — This was our last day in the Egyptian wil- 
derness. We entered on a much more mountainous region. 
The heat very great ; we literally panted for a breath of wind. 
The Bedouins begged handkerchiefs to cover their heads, and often 
cast themselves under a bush for shade. Towards sunset we 
came down on the old ruins of Rhinoculura, now buried in the 
sand ; and soon after our camels knelt down at the gates of El 
Arish, the last town on the Egyptian frontier. 31st, — We spent 
in El Arish, being unable to get fresh camels. We bought a sheep 
for five shillings ; drank freely of their delightful water — What a 
blessing after the desert ! Found out the river of Egypt, the 
boundary of Judah mentioned in the Bible, quite diy. 1st June, 
— Visited the school, a curiosity, all the children sit cross-legged 
on the floor, rocking to and fro, repeating something in Arabic. 
We had a curious interview with the governor, sitting in the gate 
in the ancient manner. We are quite expert now at taking off" 
our shoes and sitting in the Eastern mode. Smoking, and coflee 
in very small cups, are the constant accompaniments of these 
visits. Left the same evening, and did not reach Sheikh Juidhe, 
in the land of the Philistines, till the sun was nearly bursting into 
view. 2d,-Spent a happy Sabbath here ; sung " In Judah's land 
God is well known." Singing praises in our tents is very sweet, 
they are so frail, like our mortal bodies ; they rise easily into the 
ears of our present Father. Our journey through the land of the 
Philistines was truly pleasant. 3d, — We went through a fine pas- 
ture country ; immense straths ; flocks of sheep and goats, and 
asses and camels, often came in sight. This is the very way up 
out of Egypt, little changed from the day that the Ethiopian went 
on his way rejoicing, and Joseph and Mary carried down the babe 
from the anger of Herod. Little changed ! did I say? it is all 
changed ; no more is there one brook of water. Every river of 
Egypt — Wady, Gaza, Eschol, Sorek — every brook we crossed, 
was dried up, not a drop of water. The land is changed ; no 
more is it the rich land of Philistia. The sand struggles with 
the grass for mastery. The cities are changed — where are they ? 
The people are changed — no more the bold Philistines — no more 
the children of Simeon — no more Isaac and his herdsmen — no 
more David and his horsemen ; but miserable Arab shepherds — 
simple people, without ideas — poor, degraded, fearful. Khanounes 
was the first town we entered — Scripture name unknown. The 
burying-ground outside the town. The well, and people coming 


to draw, were objects of great interest to us. The people were 
highly entertained with us in return. We sat down in the Bazaar, 
and were a spectacle to all. How much we longed to have the 
Arabic tongue, that we might preach the unsearchable riches of 
Christ in God's own land. Same evening we heard the cry of the 
wolf, and encamped two miles from Gaza. The plague was ra- 
ging, so we did not enter, but spent a delightful day in comparing 
its condition with God's word concerning it — " Baldness is come 
upon Gaza." The old city is buried under sand hills, without a 
blade of grass, so that it is bald indeed. The herds and flocks are 
innumerable, fulfilling Zeph. ii. ; Andrew and I climbed the hill up 
which Samson carried the gates. 5th, — Passed through a fine 
olive grove for many miles, and entered the vale of Eschol. The 
people were all in the fields cutting and bringing in their barley. 
They reap with the hook as we do. They seem to carry in at 
same time upon camels. No vines in Eschol now — no pomegran- 
ates ; but some green fig-trees. Crossed the brook Sorek — dry. 
Spent the mid-day under the embowering shade of a fig-tree ; 
tasted the apricots of the good land. Same evening we came to 
DouUs which we take to be Eshtaol, where Samson was born. 
6th, — We went due east, and, after a mountain pass, saw the hills 
of Judah — an immense plain intervening, all studded with little 
towns. From their names we found out many Bible spots. This 
valley or plain is the very vale of Zephatha, of which you read in 
2 Chronicles chap. xiv. — in the plain of Sephela." Before night 
we entered among the hills of Judah — very like our own High- 
lands — and slept all night among the mountains, at a deserted vil- 
lage called Latroon. 7th, — One of the most privileged days of 
our life. We broke up our tents by nioonlight ; soon the sun was 
up ; we entered a defile of the most romantic character ; wild 
rocks and verdant hills, — wild flowers of every color and fragrance 
scented our path. Sometimes we came upon a clump of beautiful 
olive trees, then wild again. The turtle's voice was heard in the 
land, and singing birds of sweetest note. Our camels carried us 
up this path for four hours ; and our turbaned Bedouins added by 
their strange figures to the scene. The terracing of all the hills is 
the most remarkable feature of Judean scenery. Every foot of 
the rockiest mountains may, in this way, be covered with vines. 
We thought of Isaiah wandering here, and David and Solomon. 
Still all was wilderness. The hand of man had been actively em- 
ployed upon every mountain, but where were these laborers now ? 
Judah is gone into captivity before the enemy. There are few 
men left in the land ; not a vine is there. " The vine languisheth." 
We came down upon Garieh, a village embosomed in figs and 

Ascending again. We came down into the valley of Elah, where 
David slew Goliath. Another long and steep ascent of a most 
rugged hill, brought us into a strange scene — a desert of sun-burnt 


rocks. I had read of this, and knew that Jerusalem was near. I 
lett my camel and went before, hurrying over the burning rocks. 
In ahoui h;iif an hcnir Jerusalem came in s glit. " How doih the 
city sit solitary that was full of people !" Is this the perfection of 
beauty ( "■ How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion 
With a cloud in his anger !" It is, indeed, very desolate. Read 
tlie two first chapters of Lamentations, and you have a vivid pic- 
ture of our first sight of Jerusalem. We lighted off our camels 
Withai the Jaffi gate. Among those who crowded round us, we 
observed several Jews. I think I had better not attempt to tell 
you about Jerusalem. There is so much to describe, and I know 
not wheie to begin. The Consul, Mr. Young, received us most 
kindly, provided us a house where we might spread our mats, and 
helj)ed us in every way. Mr. N^colayson called the same eve- 
ning, and insisted on our occupying one of the mission-houses on 
Mount Zion. The plague is still in Jerusalem, so that we must 
keep ourselves in quarantine. The plague only commun'cates by 
contact, so that we are not allowed to touch any one, or let any 
one touch us. Every night we heard the mourners going about 
the streets with their dismal wailings for the dead. On Sabbath 
Mr. Nicolayson re;)d the prayers, and Dr. Black preached from 
Isaiah ii. 2. Dr. Keith in the evening. Three converted Jews 
were among the hearers. On Monday 10th, we visited the Sep- 
ulchre, and a painful sight, where we can find no traces of Cal- 
vary. Same evening rode up to the Mount of Olives: past Geth- 
semane, a most touching spot. Visited Sir Moses Montefiore, a 
Jew of London, encamped on Mount Olivet; very kind to us. 
11th, — Went round the most of the places to be visited near Jeru- 
salem — Rephaim, Gihon, Siloa's Brook " that flowed fast by the 
Oracle of God ;" the Pool of Siloam — the place where Jesus wept 
over the city : Bethany — of all places my favorite — the tombs of 
the Kings. Such a day we never spent in this world before. The 
climate is truly delightful — hot at mid-day, but delightful breezes 
at morn and even. 12th, — A business day. getting information 
about Jews. In the evening, walked to Aceldama — a dreadful 
spot. Zion is ploughed like a field. I gathered some barley, and 
noticed cauliflowers planted in rows. See Micah iii. 12. Jerusa- 
lem is, indeed, heaps. The quantities of rubbish would amaze you 
— in one place higher than the walls. 13th, — We went to Hebron, 
twenty miles south ; Mr. Nicolayson, his son, the Consul, and ladies 
accompanying us, all on mules and horses. Judah's cites are all 
waste. Except Bethlehem, we saw none but ruins till we reached 
Hebron. The vines are beautifully cultivated here, and make it 
a Paradise The hills a,l terraced to the top. We spent a de- 
lightful evening and all next day. We met the Jews and had an 
interesting mterview with them. We read Genesis xviii., and 
many other Bible passages with great joy. Saw the mosques 
where the tomb of Abraham and Sarah is. l-lth, — Returned by 


Bethlehem to Jerusalem. Bethlehem is a sweet villaf^e, placed on 
the top of a rocky hill — very white and dazzling. You see it on 
both sides of the" hill. At Rachel's sepulchre you see Jerusalem 
on one hand and Bethlehem on the other, an interesting sight — six 
miles apart. On Sabbath we enjoyed the Lord's Supper in an 
Upper Chamber in Jerusalem. It was a time much to be remem- 
bered. Andrew preached in the evening from John xiv. 2, 3, 
17th, — The plague has been increasing so that we think it better to 
depart. Last visit to Gethsemane, and Bethany, and Siloam. 
Evening, — Took farewell of all our friends in Jerusalem, with 
m;!ch sorrow you may believe. Went due north to Ramah, by 
G^beon, and slept at Beer, again in our tent, in Benjamin. 19th, — 
Passed Bethel where Jacob slept. Passed through the rich and 
rocky defile of Ephraim, by Lebonah, to Sychar. You cannot be- 
lieve what a delightsome land it is. We sought anxiously for the 
well where Jesus sat. Andrew alone found it, and lost his Bible 
in it. 20th. — Had a most interesting morning with the Jews of 
Sychar. Saw many of them ; also the Samaritans in their syna- 
gogue. Same evening visited Samaria, a wonderful place, and 
encamped at Sanour. 21st, — arrived at Carmel, where we now 
are, encamped within two yards of the sea. We have been in 
quarantine here seven days, as there is no plague north of this. 
Several English are encamped here — Lord R., Lord H.,&c. We 
have daily conversations sitting on the sand. We are not allowed 
to touch even the rope of a tent. Acre is in sight across the bay. 
We have delightful bathing. To-morrow Lord H. leaves, and 
kindly offers to take this. Carmel's rocky brow is over us. We 
are all well and happy. On Monday, we propose leaving for 
Tiberias and Saphet. Soon we shall be in Beyrout, and on our 
way to Smyrna. Do not be anxious for me. Trust us to God, 
who goes with us where we go. I only pray that our mission 
may be blessed to Israel. Sir Moses M. has arrived, and pitched 
his tent within fifty yards of us. Kindest regards to all that in- 
quire after me, not forgetting dear W. — Your affectionate son,"&c. 

When the two elder brethren of the deputation left us for Eu- 
rope, we turned southward again from Beyrout. to visit the regions 
of Phoenicia and Galilee. Never did Mr. M'Cheyne seem more 
gladsome than in gazing on these regions. 

vVt Tyre, he remembered the request of an elder in the parish 
of Larbert, who had written to him before his departure, stating 
wh-it he considered to be a difficulty in the ordinary expositions 
of the prophecies which speak of that renowned city. With 
gre-at delight, he examined the difficulty on the spot ; and it is be- 
lieved that his testimony on such points as these, when it reached 
some men of sceptical views in that scene of his early labors, was 
not unblest. 

From Saphet he writes : — " I sat looking down upon the Lake 


this morn in GT for about an hour. It was just at our feet — the very 
water where Jesus walked, where he called his disciples, where 
he rebuked the storm, where he said, 'Children, have ye any 
meat?* alter he rose from the dead. Jesus is the same still." To 
his early and familiar friend, Mr. Somerville, he thus describes 
the same view : — "O wh;it a view of the Sea of Galilee is before 
you, at your feet ! It is above three hours' descent to the water's 
edge, and yet it looks as if you could run down in as many min- 
utes. The lake is much larger than I had imagined. It is hem- 
med in by m.ountains on every side, sleeping as calmly and softly 
as if it had been the sea of glass which John saw in heaven. We 
tried in vain to follow the course of the Jordan running through 
it. True, there were clear lines, such as you see in the wake of a 
vessel, but then these did not go straight through tlie lake. The 
hills of Bashan are very high and steep, where they run into the 
lake. At one point, a man pointed out to us where the tombs in 
the rocks are, where the Demoniacs used to live ; and near it the 
hills were exactly what the Scriptures describe, ' a steep place,' 
where the swine ran down into the sea. On the north-east of the 
sea. Hermon rises very grand, intersected with many ravines full 
of snow." 

The day we spent at the lake — at the very water-side — was 
ever memorable ; it was so peculiarly sweet. We felt an inde- 
scribable interest even in lifting a shell from the shore of a sea 
where Jesus had so often walked. It was here that two of the 
beautiful hymns in " Tlie Songs of Z ion" were suggested to him. 
The one was, " How pleasant to me" &c., the other, " To yonder 
side ;" but the latter lay beside h;-m unfinished till a later period. 

His complaint was now considerably abated ; his strength 
seemed returning; and often did he long to be among his people 
again, though quieting his soul upon the Lord. Not a few pastors 
of another church, have, from time to time, come forth to this 
land, compelled by disease to seek for health in foreign regions; 
but how rarely do we find the pastor's heart retained — how rarely 
do we discover that the shepherd yearns still over the flock he 
left. But so deep was Mr. M'Cheyne's feelings toward the flock 
over which the Holy Ghost had made him overseer, that his con- 
cern ibr them became a temptation to his soul. It was not in the 
mere desire to preach again that he manifested this concern ; for 
this desire might have been selfish, as he said — "No doubt there 
is pride in this anxiety to preach ; a submissive soul would rejoice 
only in doing the present will of God." But his prayers for them 
went up daily to the throne. We had precious seasons of united 
prayer also for that same end — especially one morning at sun-rise 
in Gethsemane, and another morning at Carmel, where we joined 
in supplication on the silent shore at the foot of the hill as soon as 
day dawned, and then again at evening on the top, where Elijah 


Distance of place, or peculiarities of circumstance, never altered 
his views of duty, nor changed his feelings as a minister of Christ. 
In Galilee he meditated upon the aspect of ecclesiastical affairs in 
our beloved Scotland, and the principles he had maintained 
appeared to him as plainly accordant with the Word of God 
when tried there, apart from excitement, as they did when he 
reviewed them in connection with their effects at home. " I 
hope," were his words to a brother in the ministry, " I hope the 
Church has been well guided and blessed; and if times of diffi- 
culty are to come, I do believe there is no position so proper for 
her to be in, as the attitude of a missionary church, giving freely 
to Jew and Gentile, as she has freely received — so may she be 
found when the Lord comes." 

At the foot of Lebanon, in the town of Beyrout, he was able to 
expound a chapter (Acts x.) at a prayer-meeting of the Ameri- 
can brethren. This quite rejoiced his heart ; for it seemed as if 
the Lord were restoring him, and meant again to use him in 
preaching the glad tidings. But shortly after, during the oppres- 
sive heat of the afternoon, he felt himself unwell. He had paid a 
visit to a young man from Glasgow in the town, who was ill of 
fever ; and it is not unlikely that this visit, at a time when he was 
in a state of debility from previous fatigue, was the immediate oc- 
casion of his own illness. He was very soon prostrated under 
the fever. But his medical attendant apprehended no danger, 
and advised him to proceed to Smyrna, in the belief that the cool 
air of the sea would be much more in his favor than the sultry 
heat of Beyrout. Accordingly, in company with our faithful 
Hebrew friend, Erasmus Caiman, we embarked ; but as we lay 
off Cyprus, the fever increased to such a height, that he lost his 
memory for some hours, and was racked with excessive pain in 
his head. When the vessel sailed he revived considerably, but 
during three days no medical aid could be obtained. He scai>cely 
ever spoke ; and only once did he for a moment, on a Saturday 
night, lift his languid eye, as he lay on deck enjoying the breeze, 
to catch a distant sight of Patmos. We watched him with ago- 
nizing anxiety till we reached Smyrna and the village of Bouja. 
Though three miles off, yet for the sake of medical aid he rode to 
this village upon a mule after sunset, ready to drop every mo- 
ment with pain and burning fever. But here the Lord had pre- 
pared for him the best and kindest help. The tender and paren- 
tal care of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, in whose house he found a home, 
was never mentioned by him but with deepest gratitude ; and the 
sight of the flowering jessamine, or the mention of the deep- 
green cypress, would invariably call up in his mind associations 
of Bouja and its inmates. He used to say it was his second birth- 

Daring that time, like most of God's people who have been in 
sickness, he felt that a single passage of the Word of God was 

VOL. I. 7 


more truly food to his fainting soul than anything besides. One 
day his spirit revived, and his eye glistened, when I spoke of the 
Saviour's symjiathy, adducing as the very words of Jesus, Psnim 
xli. 1 — " Blessed is he that considereth the poor, the Lord will de- 
liver him in time of trouble," &,c. It seemed so applicable to his 
own case, as a minister of the glad tidings ; for often had he '* con- 
sidered the poor," carrying a cup of cold water to a disciple. 
Another ))assage written tor the children of God in their distiess, 
was spoken to him when he seemed nearly insensible — " Call 
upon me in the day of trouble" This word of God was as the 
drop of honey to Jonathan. 

He himself thus spoke of his illness to his friends at home : — 
"I left the foot of Lebanon when I could hardly see, or hear, or 
speak, or remember ; I felt my faculties going, one by one. and I 
had every reason to expect that I would soon be with my God. 
It is a sore trial to be alone and dying, in a foreign land, and it 
has made me feel in a way that I never knew before, the neces- 
sity of having unfeigned faith in Jesus and in God. Sentiments, 
natural feelings, glowing fancies of divine things, will not sup- 
port the soul in such an hour. There is much self-delusion in our 
estimation of ourselves when we are untried and in the midst of 
Christian friends, whose warm feelings give a glow to ours, which 
they do not possess in themselves." Even then he had his people in 
his heart. " When I got better, I used to creep out in the evenings 
about sunset. I often rememl)ered you all then. I could not write, 
as my eyes and head were much affected ; I could read but very 
little ; I could speak very little, for I had hardly any voice ; and so 
I had all my time to lay my people before God, and pray for a 
blessing on them. About the last evening I was there, we all 
■went to the vintage, and I joined in gathering the grapes." To 
Mr. Somerville he wrote: — "My mind was very weak when I 
was at the worst, and therefore the things of eternity were often 
dim. / had no fear to die, for Christ had died. Still I prayed 
for recovery, if it was the Lord's will. You remember you told 
me to be humble among your last advices. You see God is teach- 
ing me the same thing. I fear I am not thoroughly humbled. I 
feel the pride of my heart and bewail it." To his kind medical 
friend Dr. Gibson, in Dundee, he wrote : — " I really believed that 
my Master had called me home, and that I would sleep benea'h 
the dark green cypresses of Bouja till the Lonl shall come, and 
they that sleep in Jesus come with him ; and my most earnest 
prayer was lor my dear flock, that God would give them a pas- 
tor alter his own heart." 

When we met, after an eight days' separation, on board the 
vessel at Constantinojjie. he mentioned as one of the most inlerest- 
ing incidents of the week, that one evening, while walking wth 
Mr. Lewis, they met a young Greek and his wife, both oi' w hom 
were believed to be really converted souls. It created a thrill in 


nis bosom to meet with these ahnost solitary representatives of the 
once faithful and much-tried native Church of Smyrna. 

Meanwhile there were movements at home that pz'oved the 
Lord to be he who " alone doeth wondrous things." The cry of 
his servant in Asia was not forgotten ; the eye of the Lord turned 
towards his people. It was durng the time of Mr. M-Cheyne's 
sore sickness, that his flock in Djndee were receiving a blessing 
fr.^m the opened windows of heaven. Their pastor was lying at 
the gate of death, in utter helplessness. Bat the Lord had done 
this on very purpose ; for he meant to show that he needed not 
the help of any : he could send forth new laborers, and work by 
new instruments, when it pleased him. We little knew that during 
the days when we were waiting at the foot of Lebanon for a ves- 
sel to carry us to Smyrna, the arm of the Lord had begun to be 
revealed in Scotland. On the 23d of July the great Revival at 
Kilsyth took place. 

Mr. W. C. Burns, the same who was supplying Mr. M'Cheyne's 
place in his absence, was on that day preaching to his father's 
flock ; and while pressing upon them immediate acceptance of 
Christ with deep solemnity, the whole of the vast assembly wex'e 
overpowered. The Holy Spirit seemed to come down as a rush- 
ing mighty wind, and to fill the place. Very many were that 
day struck to the heart ; the sanctuary was filled with distressed 
and enquiring souls. All Scotland heard the glad news that the 
sky was no longer as brass — that the rain had begun to fall. The 
Spirit in mighty power began to work from that day forward in 
many places of the land. 

Mr. Burns returned to Mr. M'Cheyne's flock on August 8th- 
one of the days when Mr. M'Cheyne was stretched on his bed, 
praying for his people under all his own suffering. The news of 
the work at Kilsyth had produced a deep impression in Dundee ; 
and two days after, the Spirit began to work in St. Peter's, at the 
time of the prayer-meeting in the Church, in a way similar to Kil- 
syth. Day after day, the people met for prayer and hearing the 
Word ; and the times of the Apostles seemed returned, when " the 
Lord added to the Church daily of such as should be saved." All 
this' time, Mr. M'Cheyne knew not how gracious the Lord had 
been in giving him his heart's desire. It was not till we were 
within sight of home, that the glad news of these Revivals reached 
oiu' ears. But he continued like Epaphras, " laboring fervently in 
prayer," and sought daily to prepare himself for a more efficient 
discharge of his office, should the Lord restore him to it again. 
He sends home this message to a fellow-laborer ; " Do not forget 
to carry on the work in hearts brought to a Saviour. I f.*el this 
was one of my faults in the ministry. Nourish babes ; comfoYt 
downcast believers ; counsel those perplexed ; perfect that which 
is lacking in their faith. Prepare them for sore trials. I fear most 


Christians are quite unready for days of darkness." (Mr. Moody 

Our journey led us through Moldavia, Wallachia, and Austria — 
lands of darkness and of the shadow of death. Profound stran- 
gers to the trutii as it is in Jesus, the people of these lands, never- 
theless, profess to be Christians. Superstition and its idolatries 
veil the glorious object of Faith from every eye. In these regions, 
as well as in those already traversed, Mr. M'Cheyne's anxiety for 
souls appeared in the efforts he made to leave at least a few words 
of Scripture with the Jews whom we met, however short the time 
of our interview. His spirit was stirred in him ; and, with his 
Hebrew Bible in his hand, he would walk up thoughtfully and 
solemnly to the first Jew he could get access to, and begin by call- 
ing the man's attention to some statement of God's Word. In 
Palestine, if the Jew did not ftnderstand Italian, he would repeat 
to him such texts in Hebrew as " In that day there shall be a foun- 
tain opened to the house of David," &c. (Zech. xiii, 1.) And one 
evening, at the well of Doulis, when the Arab population were all 
clustered round the water troughs, he looked on very wistfully, 
^nd said, — " If only we had Arabic, we might sow beside all 
waters !" 

At Jassy, after a deeply interesting day, spent in conversation 
with Jews who came to the inn, he said, " I will remember the 
faces of those men at the Judgment-seat." When he came among 
the more educated Jews of Europe, he rejoiced to find that they 
could converse with him in Latin. His heart was bent on doing 
what he could (Mark xiv. 8) in season and out of season. '* One 
thing," he writes, " I am deeply convinced of, that God can make 
the simplest statement of the gospel etlectual to save souls. If only 
it be the true gospel, the good tidings, the message that God loved 
the world, and provided a ransom free to all, then God is able to 
make it wound the heart, and heal it too. There is deep mean- 
ing in the words of Paul, ' I am not ashamed of the gospel of 
Christ.' " 

The abominations of Popery witnessed in Austrian Poland, called 
forth many a prayer for the destruction of the Man of Sin. '* The 
images and idols by the wayside are actually frightful, stamping 
the whole land as a kingdom of darkness. I do believe that a 
journey through Austria would go far to cure some of the Popery- 
admirers of our beloved land." He adds — "These are the marks 
of the beast upon this land." And in like manner our privileges 
in Scotland used to appear to him the more precious, when, as at 
Brody, we heard of Protestants who were sujiplied with sermon 
only once a year. " I must tell this to my people," said he. " when 
I return, to make them prize their many seasons of grace." 

He estimated the importance of a town or country by its rela- 
tion to the house of Israel ; and his yearnings over these lost sheep 
resembled his bowels of compassion for his flock at home. At 


Tarnapol, in Galicia, he wrote home — " We are in Tarnapol, a 
very nice clean town, prettily situated on a winding stream, with 
wooded hills around. I suppose you never heard its name before ; 
neither did I till we were there among the Jews. I know not 
whether it has been the bii-th-place of warriors, or poets, or ora- 
tors ; its flowers have hitherto been born to blush unseen, at least 
by us barbarians of the north ; but if God revive the dry bones 
of Israel that are scattered over the world, there will arise from 
this place an exceeding great army." 

Our friend and brother in the faith, Erasmus Caiman, lightened 
the tediousness of a long day's journey, by repeating to us some 
Hebrew poetry. One piece was on Israel's present state of 
degradation ; it began — 

nn£3 ty^m nriD 

As the vehicle drove along, we translated it line by line, and soon 
after Mr. M"Cheyne put it into verse. The following lines are a 
part : — 

Rock and Refuge of my soul, 
Swiftly let the season roll, 
When thine Israel shall arise 
Lovely in the nations' eyes ! 

Lord of glory, Lord of might, 

As our ransomed fathers tell ; 
Once more for thy people fight, 

Plead for thy loved Israel. 
Give our spoilers' towers to be 
Waste and desolate as we. 

Hasten Lord, the joyful year. 

When thy Zion, tempest tossed, 
Shall the silver trumpet hear 

Bring glad tidings to the lost! 
Captive cast thy cords from thee, 
Loose thy neck — be free — be free ! 

Why dost thou behold our sadness? 

See the proud have torn away 
All our years of solemn gladness, 

When thy flock kept lioly-day! 
Lord, thy fruitful vine is bare. 
Not one gleaning grape is there ! 

Rock and Refuge of my soul, 
Swiftly let the season roll. 
When thine Israel shall be, 
Once again beloved and free ! 

In nis notes, he has one or two subjects marked for hymns. 
One of these is — Isaiah ii. 3 — " Come ye," &c., a loving call to the 
Jews. Another is to the same effect — Isaiah i. 15 — "Come, let us 
reason together." But these he never completed. In Cracow, 
having heard of the death of a friend, the wife of an English cler- 


gym an, in the midst of her days and in the full promise of useful- 
ness, he began to pen a few sweet lines of comfort. 

Oft as she taught the little maids of France 

To leave the garland, Castanet, and dance, 

And listen to the words which she would say 

About the crowns that never fade away, 

A new expression kindled in her eye, 

A holy brightness borrowed from the sky. 

And when returning to her native land, 

She bowed beneath a father's chast'uing hand; 

When the quick pul«e and tiush upon the cheek, 

A touching warning to her friends would speak, 

A holy cheerfulness yet filled her eye. 

Willing she was to live, willing to die. 

As the good Shunamite (the Scriptures tell), 

When her son died, said meekly, '4t is well," 

So when Sophia lost her infant boy, 

And felt how dear-bought is a mother's joy, 

When with green turf the little grave she spread, 

" Not lost, but gone before." she meekly said. 

And now they sleep together 'neath the willow, 

The same dew drops upon their silent pillow. 

Return, O mourner, from this double grave, 

And the God who all her graces gave. 

Follow her faith, and let her mantle be 

A cloak of holy zeal to cover thee. 

The danger which he incurred from the shepherds in this region, 
and other similar perils to which he was exposed in company 
with others, have been recorded in the Narrative. Out of them 
all the Lord delivered him ; and not from these perils only did he 
save him, but from many severe trials to his health, to which 
variety of climate and discomforts of accommodation subjected 
him. And now we were traversing Prussia, drawing nearer our 
own land. It was about five months since we had received let- 
ters from Scotland, our route having led us away from places 
which we had anticipated visiting, and where communications 
had been left for us. We pressed homeward somewhat anxiously, 
yet wondering often at past mercies. In a letter from Berlin, Mr. 
M'Cheyne remarked, " Our heavenly Father has brought us 
through so many trials and dangers that I feel persuaded he will 
yet carr}^ us to the end. Like John, we shall fulfil our course. 
♦ Are there not twelve hours in the day V Are we not all immor- 
tal till our work is done ?" His strength was rapidly increasing ; 
the journey had answered the ends anticipated to a great extent, 
in his restoration to health. He was able to preach at Hamburgh 
to the English congregation of Mr. Rheder, from whom it was 
that the first hint of a Revival in Dimdee reached his ears. He 
heard just so much both of Kilsyth and Dundee as to make him 
long to hear more, A few days after, on board the vessel that 
conveyed us to England, he thus expressed his feelings : — 


" Sailing vp the Thames, Nov. 6, 1839. 
"My dear Father and Mother, — You will be glad to see by 
the date that we are once more in sight of the shores of happy- 
England. I only wish I knew how you all are. I have not heard 
of you since I was in Smyrna. In vain did I enquire for letters 
from you at Cracow, Berlin, and Hamburgh. You must have 
written to Warsaw, and the Resident there has not returned them 
to Berlin, as we desired. Andrew and I and Mr. Caiman are all 
quite well, and thankful to God, who hasjjrought us through every 
danger in so many countries. I trust our course has not been 
altogether fruitless, and that we may now resign our commission 
with some hope of good issuing from it to the Church and to 
Israel. I preached last Sabbath in Hamburgh, for the first time 
since leaving England, and felt nothing the worse of it ; so that I 
do hope it is my heavenly Father's will to restore me to useful- 
ness again among my beloved flock. We have heard something 
of a reviving work at Kilsyth. We saw it noticed in one of the 
newspapers. I also saw the name of Dundee associated with it ; 
so that I earnestly hope good has been doing in our Church, and 
the dew from on high watering our parishes, and that the flocks 
whose pastors have been wandering may also have shared in the 
blessing. We are quite ignorant of the facts, and you may believe 

we are anxious to hear We are now passing 

Woolwich, and in an hour will be in London. We are anxious 
to be home, but I suppose will not get away till next week. I 
never thought to have seen you again in this world, but now I 
hope to meet you once more in peace. — Believe me, your aflec- 
tionate Son," &c. 

The day we arrived on the shores of our own land was indeed 
a singular day. We were intensely anxious to hear of events 
that had occurred at home a few months before — the outpouring of 
the Spirit from on high — while our friends were intensely inter?- 
ested in hearing tidings of the Land of Israel and the scattered 
tribes. The reception of the deputation on their return, and the 
fruits of their mission, are well known, and have been elsewhere 

Mr. M'Cheyne listened with deepest interest to the accounts 
given of what had taken place in Dundee during the month of 
August, when he lay at the gates of death in Bouja. The Lord 
had indeed fulfilled his hopes, and answered his prayers. His 
assistant, Mr. Burns, had been honored of God to open the flood- 
gate at Dundee, as well as at Kilsyth. For some time before, 
Mr. Burns had seen symptoms of deeper attention than usual, and 
of real anxiety in some that had hithei'to been careless. But it 
was after his return from Kilsyth that the people began to melt 
before the Lord. On Thursday, the second day after his return, 
at the close of the usual evening prayer-meeting in St. Peter's, 


and when the minds of many were deeply solemnized by the 
tidings which had reached them, he spoke a few words about 
what had for some days detained him from them, and invited 
those to remain who felt the need of an outpouring of the Spirit 
to convert them. About a hundred remained ; and at the con- 
clusion of a solemn address to these anxious souls, suddenly the 
power of God seemed to descend, and all were bathed in tears. 
At a similar meeting, next evening, in the church, there was much 
melting of heart and intense desire after the Beloved of the Father ; 
and on adjourning to the vestry, the arm of the Lord was revealed. 
No sooner was the vestry-door opened to admit those who might 
feel anxious to converse, than a vast number pressed in with 
awful eagerness. It was like a pent-up flood breaking forth; 
tears were streaming from the eyes of many, and some fell on the 
ground groaning, and weeping, and crying for mercy. Onward 
from that evening, meetings were held every day for many 
weeks ; and the extraordinary nature of the work justified and 
called for extraordinary services. The whole town was moved. 
Many believers doubted ; the ungodly raged ; but the Word of 
God grew mightily and prevailed. Instances occurred where 
whole families were afl'ected at once, and each could be found 
mourning apart, affording a specimen of the times spoken of by 
Zechariah (xii. 12). Mr. Baxter, of Hilltown, Mr. Hamilton, 
then assistant at Abernyte, and other men of God in the vicinity, 
hastened to aid in the work. Mr. Roxburgh of St. John's, and 
Mr. Lewis of St. David's, examined the work impartially and 
judiciously, and testified it to be of God. Dr. M'Donald of Ferin- 
tosh, a man of God well experienced in Revivals, came to the 
spot and put to his seal also ; and continued in town, preaching 
in St. David's Church to the anxious multitudes, during ten days. 
How many of those who were thus awfully awakened were really 
brought to the truth, it was impossible to ascertain. When Mr. 
M'Clieyne arrived, drop after drop was still falling from the 

Such in substance were the accounts he heard before he reached 
Dundee. They were such as made his heart rejoice. He had no 
envy at another instrument having been so honored in the place 
where he himself had labored with many tears and temptations. 
In true Christian magnanimity, he rejoiced that the work of the 
Lord was done, by whatever hand. Full of praise and wonder, 
he set his foot once more on the shore of Dundee. 



' They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses." — Isaiah xliv. 4. 

Ills people who had never ceased to pray for him,- Mrelcomed 
his arrival among them with the greatest joy. He reached Dun- 
dee on Thursday afternoon ; and in evening of the same day — be- 
in^ the usual time for prayer in St. Peter's — after a short medita- 
tion, he hastened to the church, there to render thanks to the 
Lord, and to speak once more to his flock. The appearance of 
the church that evening, and the aspect of the people, he never 
could forget. Many of his brethren were present to welcome 
him, and to hear the first words of his opened lips. There was 
not a seat in the church unoccupied, the passages were complete- 
ly filled, and the stairs up to the pulpit were crowded, on the 
one side with the aged, on the other with eagerly-listening chil- 
dren. Many a face was seen anxiously gazing on their restored 
pastor ; many were weeping under the unhealed wounds of con- 
viction ; all were still and calm, intensely earnest to hear. He 
gave out Psalm Ixvi., and the manner of singing, which had been 
remarked since the Revival began appeared to him peculiarly 
sweet — " so tender and afl^ecting, as if the people felt that they 
were praising a present God." After solemn prayer with them 
he was able to preach for above an hour. Not knowing how 
Jong he might be permitted to proclaim the glad tidings, he seized 
that opportunity, not to tell of his journeyings, but to show the way 
of life to sinners. His subject was 1 Cor. ii. 1-4 — the matter, the 
manner, and the accompaniment of Paul's preaching. It was a 
night to be remembered. 

On coming out of the church, he found the Voad to his house 
crowded with old and young, who were waiting to welcome him 
back. He had to shake hands with many at the same time ; and 
belbre this happy multitude would disperse, had to speak some 
words of life to them again, and pray with them where they stood. 
" To thy name, O Lord," said he that night, when he returned to 
his home, " To thy name, O Lord, be all the glory." A month 
afterwards, he was visited by one who had hitherto stood out 
against all the singular influence of the Revival, but who that night 
was deeply awakened under his words, so that the arrow festered 
in her soul, till she came crying, "O my hard, hard heart !" 

On the Sabbath, he preached to his flock in the afternoon. He 
chose 2 Chron. v. 13, 14, as his subject ; and in the close, his 
hearers remember well how affectionate and solemnly he said — 


" Dearly beloved and l^nf^ed for, I now begin another year of my 
ministry among you ; and I am resolved, if God give me health 
and strength, that I will not let a man, woman, or child among 
you alone, until you have at least heard the testimony of God con- 
cerning his Son, either to your condemnation or salvation. And 
I will pray, as I have done before, that, if the Lord will indeed 
give us a great outpouring of his Spirit, he will do it in such a 
way that it will be evident to the weakest child among you, 
that it is the Lord's work, and not man's. I think I may say 
to you, as Rutherford said to his people, * Your heaven would be 
two heavens to me.' And if the Lord be pleased to give me a 
crown from among you, 1 do here promise in his sight, that I will 
cast it at his feet, saying, ' Worthy is the Lamb that was slain ! 
Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that sit- 
teth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.' " 

It was much feared for a time, that a jealous spirit would pre- 
vail among the people of St. Peter's, some saying, " I am of Paul, 
and others, I of Cephas." Those recently converted were apt to 
regard their spiritual father, in a light in which they could regard 
none besides. But Mr. M'Cheyne had received from the Lord a 
holy disinterestedness, that suppressed every feeling of envy. 
Many wondered at the single-heartedness he was enabled to ex- 
hibit. He could sincerely say, " I have no desire but the salva- 
tion of my people, by whatever instrument." 

Never, perhaps, was there one placed in better circumstances 
for testing the Revival impartially, and seldom has any Revival 
been more fully tested. He came among a people whose pre- 
vious character he knew ; he found a work wrought among them 
during his absence, in which he had not had any direct share ; 
he returned home to go out and in among them, and to be a close 
observer of all that had taken place ; and, after a faithful and 
prayerful examination, he did most unhesitatingly say, that the 
Lord had wrought great things, whereof he was glad ; and, in the 
case of many of those whose souls were saved in that Revival, he 
discovered remark-able answers to the prayers of himself, and of 
those who had come to the truth, before he left them. He wrote 
to me his impressions of the work, when he had been a few weeks 
among his people : — 

" Rev. And. A. Bonar, Collace. '"^ ^^- ^^^• 

"My de.\r a. — I begin upon note-paper, because I have 
no other on hand but our thin travelling paper. I have much to 
tell you, and to praise the Lord for. I am grieved to hear that 
there are no marks of the Spirit's work about Collace during your 
absence ; but if Satan drive you to your knees, he will soon find 
cause to repent it. l\emember how fathers do to their children 
when they ask bread. How much more shall our heavenly 
Father give ( i/"<^") all good things to them that ask him. Re- 


member the rebuke which I once got from old Mr. Dempster of 
Denny, after preaching to his people — 'I was highly pleased with 
your discourse, but in prayer it struck me that you thought God 
unwilling to give.' Remember Daniel — ' At the beginning of thy 
supplications the commandment came forth.' And do not think 
you are forgotten by me as long as I have health and grace to 

" Every thing here I have found in a state better than I ex- 
pected. The night I arrived I preached to such a congregation 
as I never saw befoi'e I do not think another person could have 
got into the church, and there was every sign of the deepest and 
tenderest emotion. R. Macdonald was with me, and prayed. 
Affliction and success in the ministry have taught and quickened 
him. I preached on 1 Cor. ii. 1-4, and felt what I have often 
heard, that it is easy to preach where the Spirit of God is. On 
the Friday night Mr. Burns preached. On the Sabbath I preached 
on that wonderful passage, 2 Chron. v. 13, 14 ; Mr. Burns preached 
twice, morning and evening. His views of Divine truth are clear 
and commanding. There is a great deal of substance in what he 
pjeaches, and his manner is very powerful, — so much so, that he 
sometimes made me tremble. In private, he is deeply prayerful, 
and seems to feel his danger of falling into pride. 

*' I have seen many of the awakened, and many of the saved ; 
indeed, this is a pleasant place compared with what it was once. 
Some of the awakened are still in the deepest anxiety and distress. 
Their great error is exactly what your brother Horace told me. 
They think that coming to Christ is some strange act of their 
mind, different from believing what God has said of his Son ; so 
much so, that they will tell you with one breath, I believe all that 
God has said, and yet with the next, complain that they cannot 
come to Christ, or close with Christ. It is very hard to deal with 
this delusion. 

'• I find some old people deeply shaken ; they feel insecure. 
One confirmed drunkard has come to me, and is, I believe, now a 
saved man. Some little children are evidently saved. All I 
have yet seen are related to converts of my own. One, eleven 
years old, is a singular instance of Divine grace. When I asked 
if she desired to be made holy, she said, ' Indeed, I often wish I 
was awa', that I might sin nae mair.' A. L. of fifteen, is a fine 
tender-hearted believer. W. S., ten, is also a happy boy. 

" Many of my own dear children in the Lord are much ad- 
vanced ; much more full of joy — their hearts lifted up in the ways 
of the Lord. I have found many more savingly impressed under 
my own ministry than I knew of Some have come to tell me. 
In one case, a whole family saved. I have hardly met with any 
thing to grieve me. Surely the Lord hath dealt bountifully with 
me. I fear, however, that the great Spirit has in some measure 
passed by — I hope soon to return in greater power than ever. 


The week meetings are thinner now. I will turn two of tliem 
into my classes soon, and so give solid, regular instruction, of 
which they stand greatly in need. I have not met with one case 
of extravagance or false fire, although doubtless there may be 
many. At first, they used to follow m a body to our house, and 
expected many an address and prayer by the road. They have 
given up this now. I preached last Sabbath twice, first on Isaiah 
xxviii. 14 — 18, and then on Rev. xii. 11, 'Overcame by the blood 
of the Lamb.' It was a very solemn day. The people willingly 
sat till it was dark. Many make it a place of Bochim. Still 
there is nothing of the power which has been. I have tried to 
persuade Mr. Burns to stay with us, and I think he will remain in 
Dundee. I feel fully stronger in body than when I left you. In- 
stead of exciting me, there is everything to solemnize and still 
my feelings. Eternity sometimes seems very near. 

" I would like your advice about prayer-meetings ; — how to 
consolidate them ; what rules should be followed, if any ; whether 
there should be mere reading of the Word and prayer, or free 
converse also on the passage? We began to-day a ministerial 
prayer-meeting, to be held every IMonday at eleven for an hour 
and a half This is a great comfort, and may be a great blessing. 
Of course, we do not invite the colder ministers ; that would only 
damp our meeting. Tell me if you think this right. 

" And now, dear A., I must be done, for it is very late. May 
your people share in the quickening that has come over Dundee ! 
I feel it a very powerful argument with many — ' Will you be left 
dry when others are getting drops of heavenly dew V Try this 
with your people. 

"I think it probable we shall have another communion again 
before the regular one. It seems very desirable. You will come 
and help us ; and perhaps Horace too. 

" I thought of coming back by Collace from Errol, if our Glas- 
gow meeting had not come in the way. 

" Will you set agoing your Wednesday meeting again imme- 
diately 1 

" Farewell, dear A. ' O man, greatly beloved, fear not ; peace 
be to thee ; be strong ; yea, be strong.' Yours ever," &c. 

To Mr. Burns he thus expresses himself, on December I9th : — 
"My dear Brother, I shall never be able to thank you for all your 
labors among the precious souls committed to me ; and what is 
worse, I can never thank God fully for his kindness and grace, 
which every d;xy appears to me more remarkable. He has an- 
swered prayer to me jn all that has happened, in a way which I 
have never told any one." Again, on the 31st, "Stay where you 
are, dear brother, as long as the Lord has any work for you to do.* 

* Mr. Burns was at that time in Perth, and there had began to be some move- 
ment among the dry bones. 


If I know my own heart, its only desire is that Christ may 
be glorified, by souls flocking to him and abiding in him, and re- 
flecting his image ; and whether it be in Perth or Dundee, should 
signify little to us. You know I told you my mind plainly, that I 
thought the Lord had so blessed you in Dundee, that you were 
called to a fuller and deeper work there ; but if the Lord accom- 
panies you to other places, I have nothing to object. The Lord 
strengthened my body and soul last Sabbath, and my spirit also 
was glad. The people were much alive in the Lord's service. 
But O, dear brother, the most are Christless still. The rich are 
almost untroubled." 

His evidence on this subject is given fully in his answers to the 
queries put by a Committee of the Aberdeen Presbytery; and, in 
a note to a friend, he incidentally mentions a pleasing result of 
this wide-spread awakening. " I find many souls saved under my 
own ministry, whom I never knew of before. They are not 
afraid to come out now, it has become so common a thing to be 
concerned about the soul." At that time, also, many came from 
a distance — one came from the north, who had been a year in 
deep distress of soul, to seek Christ in Dundee. 

In his brief diary he records, on December 3d, that twenty 
anxious souls had that night been conversing with him ; " many 
of them very deeply interested." He occasionally fixed an 
evening for the purpose of meeting with those who were awak- 
ened ; and in one of his note-books there are at least four hundred 
visits recorded, made to him by inquiring souls, in the course of 
that and the following years. He observed, that those who had 
been believers formerly had got their hearts enlarged, and were 
greatly established ; and some seemed able to feed upon the truth 
in a new manner —as when one related to him, how there had for 
some time appeared a glory in the reading of the Word in public, 
quite different from reading it alone. 

At the same time he saw backslidings, both among those whom 
believers had considered really converted, and among those who 
had been deeply convicted, though never reckoned among the 

really saved. He notes in his book — " Called to see . Poor 

lad, he seems to have gone back from Christ, led away by evil 
company. And yet 1 felt sure of him at one time. What blind 
creatures ministers are ! man looketh at the outward appearance." 
One morning he was visited by one of his flock, proposing " a 
concert for prayer on the following Monday, in behalf of those 
who had fallen back, that God's spirit might re-awaken them," — so 
observant were the believers as well as their pastor of declen- 
sions. Among those who were awakened, but never truly con- 
verted, he mentions one case. "January 9, 1840. — Met with the 
case of one who had been frightened during the late work, so that 
her bodily health was injured. She seems to have no care now 
about her soul. It has only filled her mouth with evil-speaking." 


That many, who promised fair, drew hack and walked no more 
with Jesiis, is true. Out of about 800 souls, who, during the mouths 
of the Revival, conversed with different ministers in apparent 
anxiety, no wonder surely if many proved to have been impressed 
only for a time. President Edwards considered it likely that, in 
such cases, the proportion of real conversions might resemble the 
proportion of blossoms in spring, and fruit in autumn. Nor can 
anything be more unreasonable than to doubt the iruth of all, be- 
cause of the deceit of some. The world itself does not so act in 
judging of its own. The world reckons upon the possibility of 
being mistaken in many cases, and yet does not cease to believe 
that there is lionesty and truth to be found. One of themselves, 
a poet of their own, has said with no less justice than beauty — 

" Anjrels are bright still, though the brightest fell ; 
And though foul things put on the brows of grace, 
Yet grace must still look so." 

But, above all. w'e have the authority of the word of God, declar- 
ing that such backslidings are the very tests of the true Church — 
"For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are 
approved may be made manifest among you." 1 Cor. xi. 19. It is 
not, however, meant that any who had really believed went back 
to perdition. On the contrary, it is the creed of every sound evan- 
gelical Church, that those who do go back to perdition, were per- 
sons who never really believed in Jesus. Their eyes may have 
been opened to see the dread realities of sin and of the wrath to 
come, but if they saw not righteousness for their guilty souls in 
the Saviour, there is nothing in all Scripture to make us expect 
that they will continue awake. " Aw'ake, thou that sleepest, and 
Christ laill give thee liglit," is the call — inviting sinners to a point 
far beyond mere conviction. One who, for a whole year, went 
back to folly, said — " Your sermon on the corruption of the heart 
made me despair, and so I gave myself up to my old ways — at- 
tending dances, learning songs." &c. A knowledge of our guilt, 
and a sense of danger, will not of themselves keep us from fall- 
ing ; nay, these, if alone, may (as in the above case) thrust us 
down the slippery places. We are truly secure only when our 
eye is on Jesus, and our hand locked in his hand. So that the 
history of blackslidings. instead of leading us to doubt the reality 
of grace in believers, will only be found to teach us two great 
lessons, viz., the vast importance of pressing immediate salvation 
on awakened souls, and the reasonableness of standing in doubt 
of all, however deep their convictions, who have not truly fled to 
the hope set before them. 

There was another ground of prejudice against the whole work, 
arising from the circumstance that the Lord had employed in it 
young men not long engaged in the work of the ministry, rather 
than the fathers in Israel. But herein' it was that sovereign grace 


shone forth the more conspicuously. Do such objectors suppose 
that God ever intends the honor of man in a work of Revival? 
Is it not the honor of his own name that he seeks ? Had it been 
his wish to give the glory to man at all, then indeed it might have 
been asked, " Why does he pass by the older pastors, and call for 
the inexperienced youth?" But when sovereign grace was com- 
ing to bless a region in the way that would redound most to the 
glory of the Lord, can we conceive a wiser plan than lo use the 
sling of David in bringing down the Philistine ! If, however, 
there be some whose prejudice is from the root of envy, let 
such hear the remonstrance of Richard Baxter to the jealous min- 
isters of his day. " What ! malign Christ in gifts for which he 
should have the glory, and all because they seem to hinder our 
gl)ry ! Does not every man owe thanks to God for his brethren's 
gifts — not only as having himself part in them, as the foot has the 
benefit of the guidance of the eye, but also because his own ends 
may be attained by his brethren's gifts as well as by his own? 

A fearful thing that any man, that hath the least of the 

fear of God, should so envy at God's gifts, that he would rather 
his carnal hearers were unconverted, and the drowsy not awak- 
ened, than that it should be done by another who may be prefer- 
red before them."* 

The work of the Spirit went on, the stream flowing gently ; for 
the heavy showers had fallen, and the overflowing of the waters 
had passed by. Mr. M'Cheyne became more than ever vigilant 
and discriminating in dealing with souls. Observing, also, that 
some were influenced more by feelings of strong attachment to 
their pastor personally, than by the power of the truths he 
preached, he became more reserved in his dealings with them, so 
that some thought there was a little coldness or repujsiveness in 
his manner. If there did appear anything of this nature to some, 
certainly it was no indication of diminished compassion ; but, on 
the contrary proceeded from a scrupulous anxiety to guard others 
against the deceitful feelings of their own souls. A few notes of 
his work occur at this period. 

"November 27, 1839. — A pleasant meeting in the Cross 
Church on Wednesday last, for the seamen. All that spoke 
seemed to honor the Saviour. I had to move thanksgiving to 
God for his mercies. This has been a real blessing to Dundee. It 
should not be forgotten in our prayers and thanksgivings." 

" Nov. 28 — Thursday evening. — Much comfort in speaking. 
There was often an awful stillness. Spoke on Jerem. vi. 14 — 
* They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people 
slightly,'" &c. 

" December 1. — This evening came a tender Christian, so far 
as I can see ; an exposition of that text, ' / will go softly^ or of 
that other, ' Thou shall not open thy 7nouth any more.^ A child 
* Reformed Pastor, iv. 2. 


of shame made one of honor. Her sister was awakened under 
Mr. Baxter's words in St. Peter's, of whom he asked, ' Would 
you like to be holy V She replied, 'Indeed, I otten wish 1 were 
dead that I mii^ht sin no more.'" 

"Dec. 3. — Preached six times within these two days." 

" Dec. 8. — Saw .1. T. in fever. She seems really in Christ 
now ; tells me how deeply my words sank into her soul when I 
was away. A. M. stayed to tell me her joy. J. B. walked home 
with me, tellinf^j me what God had done for his soul, when one 
day I had stopf at the quarry on account of a shower of rain, and 
took shelter with my pony in the engine-house.'' He had simply 
pointed to the fire of the furnace, and said, " What does that re- 
mind you off and the words had remained deep in the man's 

"Dec. 11. — A woman awakened that night I preached in J. 
D.'s green, about two years ago, on Ezek. xx. 43. For twenty 
years she had been out of church privileges, and now, for the first 
time, came trembling to ask restoration. Surely Immanuel is in 
this place, and even old sinners are flocking to him. I have got 
an account of about twenty prayer-meetings connected with my 
flock. Many open ones ; many fellowship meetings ; only one 
or two have any thing like exhortation superadded to the Word. 
These, I think, it must be our care to change, if possible, lest error 
and pride creep in. The only other difficulty is this. In two of iiie 
female meetings, originally fellowship-meetings, anxious female 
inquirers have been admitted. They do not pray, but only hear. 
In one, M. and J. had felt the rising of pride to a great degree ; 
in the other, M. could not be persuaded that there was any dan- 
ger of pride. This case will require prayerful deliberation. My 
mind at present is, that there is great danger from it, the praying 
members feeling themselves on a different level from the others, 
and any thing like female-teaching, as a public teacher, seems 
clearly condemned in the Word of God." 

" Dec. 12. — Felt very feeble all day, and as if I could not do 
any more work in the vineyard. Evening — Felt more of the re- 
ality of Immanuel's intercession. The people also were evidently 
subdued by more than a human testimony. One soul waited, 
sobbing most piteously. She could give no more account of her- 
self than that she was a sinner, and did not believe that God 
would be merciful to her. When I showed how I found mercy, 
her only answer was — 'But you were not sic a sinner as me.'" 

" Dec. 18. — Went to Glasgow along with A. B. Preached in 
St. George's to a full audience, in the cause of the Jews. Felt real 
nelp in time of need." This was one of his many journeys from 
place to place in behalf of Israel, relating the things seen and 
neard among the Jews of Palestine and otiier lands. 

" Dec. 22. — Preached in Anderston Church, with a good deal of 
inward peace and comtbr*" 


" Dec. 23. — Interesting meeting with the Jewish Committee. 
In the evening met a number of God's people. The horror of 
•ome good people in Glasgow at the Millenarian views is very 
great, while at the same time their objections appear very weak." 

"Dec. 31. — Young communicants. Two have made applica- 
tion to be admitted under eleven years of age ; four that are only 
fourteen ; three who are fifteen or sixteen." 

"January 1, 1840. — Awoke early by the kind providence of 
God, and had uncommon freedom and fervency in keeping the 
concert for prayer this morning before light. Very touching in- 
terview with M. P., who still refuses to be comforted. Was ena- 
bled to cry after a glorious Immanuel along with her. How I 
wish I had her bitter convictions of sin I Another called this 
evening, who says she was awakened and brought to Christ dur- 
ing the sermon on the morning of December 1st, on the 'Covenant 
with death.' Gave clear answers, but seems too unmoved for one 
really changed." 

" Jan. 2. — Visited six families. Was refreshed and solemnized 
at each of them. Spoke of the Word made flesh, and of all the 
paths of the Lord being mercy and truth. Visited in the evening 
by some interesting souls : one a believing little boy ; another 
complaining she cannot come to Christ for the hardness of her 
heart ; another once awakened under my ministry, again thor- 
oughly awakened and brought to Christ under Horace Bonar's 
sermon at the Communion. She is the only saved one in her fam- 
ily — awfully persecuted by father and mother. Lord, stand up 
for thine own ! Make known, by. their constancy under suffer- 
ing the power and beauty of thy grace ! Evening — Mr. Miller 
preached delightfully on ' The love of Christ constraineth us.' 
His account of the Protestants of France was very interesting — 
the work of God at Nismes, where it is said they are no more 
fishing with line, but dragging with the nets. Read a letter from 
Mr. Gumming, describing the work at Perth, and entreating the 
prayers of God's children." 

This last reference is ta the awakening which took place in St. 
Leonard's Church, Perth, on the last night of the year, when Mr. 
Burns, along with their pastor, Mr. Milne, was preaching. Mr. B. 
had intended to return to Dundee for the Sabbath, but was detain- 
ed by the plain indications of the Lord's presence. At one meet 
ing, the work was so glorious that one night about 150 persons at 
one time seemed bowed down under a sense of their guilt, and 
above 200 came next day to the Church in the forenoon to con- 
verse about their souls. This awakening was the commencement 
of a solid work of grace, both in that town and its neighborhood, 
much fruit of which is to be found there at this day in souls that 
are walking in the fear of the Lord, and the comfort of the Holy 
Gnost. And it was in the spring of this same year, that, in CoJ- 

VOL. I. 8 


lace, at our weekly prayer-meeting, when two brethren were min- 
istering, we received a blessed shower from the Lord. 

His Journal proceeds: — 

" Jan. 3. — An inquirer came, awakened under my ministry two 
years and a hall" ago." 

"Jan. 5. — Two came; M. B. sorely wounded with the fore- 
noon's discourse." 

"Jan. 12. — Intimated a concert for prayer, that unworthy com- 
municants might be kept back, the Lord's children prepared for 
the feast, and ministers furnished from on h'gh." 

"Jan. 13. — Kept concert of prayer this morning with my dear 
people. Did not find the same enlargement as usual." 

" March 5 — Thursday evening. — Preached on Zech. iii. — 
Joshua. Was led to speak searchingly about making Christ the 
minister of sin. One young woman cried aloud very bitterly. M. 
B. came to tell me that poor M. is like to have her life taken away 
by her parents. A young woman also, who is still concerned, and 
persecuted by her father. A young man came to tell me that he 
had found Christ. Roll on. thou river of life i visit every dwell- 
in<i^ ! save a multitude of souls. Come, Holy Spirit ! come 

" March 25. — Last night at Forfar speaking for Israel to a small 
band of I'riends of the Jews. Fearfully wicked place — the cry 
of it ascends up before God like that of Sodom." 

" March 31. — Met with young communicants on Wednesday 
and Friday. On the latter night especially, very deep feeling, 
manifested in sobbings. Visits of several. One dear child nine 
years old. Sick bed." 

" April 1. — Presbytery day. Passed the constitution of two new 
churches — blessed be God ! — may He raise up faithful pastors for 
them both — Dudhope and Wallace-Feus. Proposal also for the 
ISIariners' Church. A fast-day fixed for the present state of the 

" April 5, Sabbath evening. — Spoke to twenty-four young per- 
sons, one by one ; almost all aflected about their souls." 

"April 0. — Lovely ride and meditation in a retired grove." 

"April 7. — Impressed to-night with the complete necessity of 
preaching to my i)eople in their own lanes and closes ; in noothei 
way will God's VVord ever reach them. To-night spoke in St. 
Andrew's Church to a very crowded assembly in behalf of Israel. 
Was helped to speak plainly to their own consciences. Lord 
bless it I Shake this town !" 

"April 13. — Spoke in private to nearly thirty young commu- 
nicants, all in one room, going round each, and advising for the 
benefit of all." 

"April 22. — Rede to CoUessie (Fife) and Kirkaldy. Sweet 
time alone in Cr)llessie woods." 

"July 30. — One lad came to me in great distress wishing to 


know if he should confess h's little dishonesties to his master." 
About this time, he has noted down, " I was visiting the other 
day. and came to a locked door. What did this mean ? ' Tor- 
ment me not, torment me not.' Ah, Satan is mighty still" — refer- 
ring to Mark v. 7. 

A few of h s Communion seasons are recorded. We could have 
desired a record of them all. The first of which he has detailed 
any particulars, is the one he enjoyed soon after returning home. 

"January 19,' 1840. — Stormy morning, with gushing torrents 
of rain, but cleared up in answer to prayer. Sweet union in 
prayer with Mr. Gumming, and afterwards with A. Bonar. 
Found God in secret. Asked especially that the very sight of the 
broken bread and poured out wine might be blessed to some souls, 
then pride will be hidden from man. Ghurch well filled — many 
standing. Preached the action sermon on John xvii, 24, ' Father, 
I will,' &c. Had considerable nearness to God in prayer — more 
than usual — and also freedom in preaching, although I was 
ashamed of such poor views of Christ's glory. The people were 
in a very desirable frame of attention — hanging on the word. 
Felt great help in fencing the table, from Acts v. 3, ' Lying to the 
Holy Ghost.' Came down and served the first table, with much 
more calmness and collectedness than ever I remember to have 
enjoyed. Enjoyed a sweet season while A. B. served the next 
table. He dwelt chiefly on believing the words of Christ about 
his fulness, and the promise of the Father. There were six tables 
altogether. The people more and more moved to the end. At 
the last table, every head seemed bent like a bulrush while A. B. 
spoke of the ascension of Christ. Helped a little in the address, 
'Now to him who is able to keep you,' &c., and in the concluding 
prayer.* One little boy, in retiring, said, 'This has been another 
bonnie day.' Many of the little ones seemed deeply attentive. 
Mr. Gumming and Mr. Burns preached in the school the most of 
the day. In the evening Mr. C. preached on the Pillar Cloud on 
every dwelling, Isaiah iv, 5, some very sweet, powerful words. 
Mr. Burns preached in the school-room. When the church 
emptied, a congregation formed in the lower school, and began 
to sing. Sang several psalms with them, and spoke on 'Behold I 
stand at the door.' Going home, A. L. said, ' Pray for me ; I am 
quite happy, and so is H.' Altogether a day of the revelation 
of Christ — a sweet day to myself, and, I am persuaded, to many 
souls. Lord, make us meet for the table above." 

Another of these Communion seasons I'ecorded, is April, 1840. 
"Sabbath, 19. — Sweet and precious day. Preached action ser- 
mon on Zech. xii. 10; xiii. 1. A good deal assisted. Also in 
fencing the tables, on Psa. cxxxix., ' Search me, O God.' Less at 
serving the tables, on ' I will betroth thee,' and ' To him that over- 
cometh ;' though the thanksgiving was sweet. Communicated 
* See the Remains, for some of that day's solemn words. 


with calm joy. Old Mr. Burns served two tables » H. Bonar five. 
There was a very melting frame visible among the people. 
Helped a good deal in the address on ' My sheep hear my voice.' 
After seven before all was over. Met before eight. Old Mr. 
Burns preached on ' A word in season.' Gave three parting texts, 
and so concluded this blessed day. Many were filled with joy 
unspeakable and full of glory." 

" Monday, 20. — Mr. Grierson preached on, ' Ye are come to 
Mount Zion' — an instructive word. Pleasant walk with H. B. 
Evening sermon from him to the little children on the *nevv heart' 
— truly delightful. Prayer-meeting after. I began ; then old 
Mr. Burns ; then Horace, in a very lively manner, on the ' wo- 
man of Samaria.' The people were brought into a very tender 
frame. After the blessing, a multitude remained. One (A. N.) 
was like a person struck through with a dart ; she could neither 
stand nor go. Many were looking on her with faces of horror. 
Others were comforting her in a very kind manner, bidding her 
look to Jesus. Mr. Burns went to the desk, and told them of 
Kilsyth. Still they would not go away. Spoke a few words 
more to those around me, telling them of the loveliness of Christ, 
and the hai'dness of their hearts, that they could be so unmoved 
when one was so deeply wounded. The sobbing soon spread, till 
many heads were bent down, and the church was filled with sob- 
bing. Many whom I did not know were now affected. After 
prayer, we dismissed, near midnight. Many followed us. One, 
in great agony, prayed that she might find Christ that very night. 
So ends this blessed season." 

The prayer-meeting on the Monday evening following the 
Communion was generally enjoyed by all the Lord's people, and 
by the ministers who assisted, in a peculiar manner. Often all 
felt the last day of the feast to be the great day. Souls that had 
been enjoying the feast were then, at its conclusion, taking hold 
on the arm of the Beloved in the prospect of going up through 
the wilderness. 

The only notice of this last Communion, January 1, 1843. is 
the following. — " Sabbath — A happy Communion season. Mr. 
W. Burns preached on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 
evenings — the first and last very solenm. JMr. Baxter (of Hill- 
own Church) on the Friday. A. Bonar on Saturday, on Rom. 
viii. — the spirit of adoption. I fainted on the Sabbath morning, 
but revived, and got grace and strength to preach on 1 Tim. i. 
IG — Paul's conversion a pattern. There were five tables. Many 
godly strangers, and a very desirable frame observable in the 
people. ' While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard send- 
eth out the smell thereof.' Much sin was covered. He restoreth 
my soul. Monday. 2. — Mr. Milne (of Perth) preached on, ' Hold 
fast that thou hast ;' and in the evening, to the children, on Josh, 
xxiv. • Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.' Andrew and ^ 


concluded with Rev. v. * Thou hast redeemed us,' &c., and 1 Cor. 
XV. ' Be steadfast,' &c." 

He dispensed the Lord's Supper to his flock every quarter ; 
and though on this account his calls upon his brethren for help 
were frequent, yet never did a brother reckon it anything else than 
a blessed privilege to be with him. His first invitation to his 
friend Mr. Hamilton (then at Abernyte), will show the nature of 
the intercourse that subsisted between him and his brethren who 
gave their services on these occasions : — " My dear friend, will 
you excuse lack of ceremony, and come down to-morrow and 
preach to us the unsearchable riches of Christ? We have the 
Communion on Sabbath. We have no fast-day, but only a meet- 
ing in the evening at a quarter past seven. Come, my dear Sir, 
if you can, and refresh us with your company. Bring the fra- 
grance of ' the bundle of myrrh' along with you, and may grace 
be poured into your lips. Yours ever." (Jan. 15, 1840.) 

Soon after his return from his Mission to the Jews, a ministe- 
rial prayer-meeting was formed among some of the brethren in 
Dundee. Mr. M'Chevne took part in it, along with Mr. Lewis 
of St. David's, Mr. Baxter of Hilltown, Mr. P. L. Mdler, after- 
wards of Wallacetown, and others. Feeling deep concern for 
the salvation of the souls under their care, they met every Mon- 
day forenoon, to pray together for their flocks, and then' own 
souls. The time of the meeting was limited to an hour and a 
half, in order that all who attended might form their pastoral ar- 
rangements for the day, without fear of being hindered ; and, in 
addition to prayer, those present conversed on some selected 
topic, vitally connected with their duties as ministers of Christ. 
Mr. M'Cheyne was never absent from his prayer-meeting, unless 
through absolute necessity, and the brethren scarcely remember 
any occasion on which some important remark did not drop from 
his lips. He himself reaped great profit from it. He notes, De- 
cember 8th — " This has been a deeply interesting week. On 
Monday our ministerial prayer-meeting was set agoing in St. 
David's vestry. The hearts of all seem really in earnest in it. 
The Lord answers prayer ; may it be a great blessing to our 
souls and to our flocks." Another time — " Meeting in St. David's 
vestry. The subject of fasting was spoken upon. Felt exceed- 
ingly in my own spirit how little we feel real grief on account of 
sin before God, or we would often lose our appetite for food. 
When parents lose a child, they often do not taste a bit from 
morning to night, out of pure grief. Should we not mourn as for 
an only child 1 How little of the spirit of grace and supplication 
we have then 1" On Dec. 30 — " Pleasant meeting of ministers. 
Many delightful texts on 'Arguments to be used with God in 
prayer.' How little I have used these ! Should we not study 
prayer more ?" 

Full as he was of affection and Christian kindness to all be- 


lievers, he was specially so to the faithful brethren in the gospel 
of Christ. Perhaps there never was one who more caiefully 
watched against ihe danger of undervaluing precious men, and 
detracting from a brother's character. Although naturally am- 
bitious, grace so wrought in him, that he never sought to bring 
himself into view; and most cheerfully would he observe and 
take notice of the graces and gifts of others. Who is there of us 
that should ever feel otherwise ? " For the body is not one mem- 
ber, but many." And " the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have 
no need of thee ; nor, again, the head to the feet, I have no need 
of you." 

All with whom he was intimate still remember with gratitude 
how faithfully and anxiously he used to warn his friends of what- 
ever he apprehended they were in danger from. To Mr. W. C. 
Burns he wrote, Dec. 31, 1839 : " Now, the Lord be your strength, 
teacher, and guide. I charge you, be clothed with humility, or 
you will yet be a wandering star, for which is reserved the black- 
ness of darkness forever. Let Christ increase ; let man decrease. 
This is my constant prayer for myself and you. If you lead sin- 
ners to yourself, and not to Christ, Immanuel will cast the star 
out of his right hand into utter darkness. Remember what I said 
of preaching out of the Scriptures ; honor the Word both in the 
matter and manner. Do not cease to pray for me." At another 
time (Nov. 3, 1841), he thus wrote to the same friend: "Now, 
•eemember Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone. Look- 
'iig at our own shining face is the bane of the spiritual life and of 
the ministry. O for closest communion with God, till soul and 
body — head, face, and heart — shine with divine brilliancy ; but O 
for a holy ignorance of our shining. Pray for this ; for you need 
it as well as L" 

To another friend in the ministry who had written to him 
despondingly about his people and the times, his reply was, " I am 
sure there never was a time when the Spirit of God was more 
present in Scotland, and it does not become you to murmur in 
your tents, but rather to give thanks. Remember, we may grieve 
the Spirit as truly by not joyfully acknowledging his wcnders as 
by not praying for him. There is the clearest evidence that God 
is saving souls in Kilsyth, Dundee, Perth, Collace, Blairgowrie, 
Strathbogie, Ross-shire, Breadalbane, Kelso, Jedburgh, Ancrum ; 
and surely it becomes us to say, ' 1 thank my God upon every re- 
membrance of you.' Forgive my presumption ; but I fear least 
you hurt your own peace and usefulness in not praising God 
enough for the operation of his hands." To another : *' I have 
toW you that you needed trial, and now it is come. May you be 
exercised thereby, and come to that happy ' afterwards' of which 
the Apostle speaks." To the same again : " Remember the neces- 
sity of your own soul, and do not grow slack or lean in feeding 
others. ♦ Mine own vineyard have I not kept.' Ah, take heed of 


that !" And in a similar tone of faithfulness at an after period 
•' Remember the case of your own soul. ' What will it profit a 
man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul V Remember 
how often Paul appeals to his holy, just, unblameable lil'e. O that 
we may be able always to do the same !" " Remember the 
pruning-knife," he says to another, " and do not let your vine run 
to wood." And after a visit to Mr. Thornton of Milnathort, in 
whose parish there had been an awakening, he asks a brother, 
" Mr. Thornton is willing that others be blessed more than him- 
self; do you think that you have that grace? I find that I am 
never so successful as when I can lie at Christ's feet, willing to be 
used or not as seemeth good in his sight. Do you remember 
David ? ' If the Lord say I have no delight in thee ; behold, here 
am I ; let him do to me as seemeth good unto him :' " In his 
familiar letters, as in his life, there was the manifestation of a 
bright, cheerful soul, without the least tendency to levity. When 
his medical attendant had, on one occasion, declined any remune- 
ration, Mr. M'Cheyne peremptorily opposed his purpose ; and to 
overcome his reluctance, returned the inclosure in a letter, in 
which he used his poetical gifts with most pleasant humor. 

To many it was a subject of wonder that he found time to 
write letters that always breathed the name of Jesus, amid his 
innumerable engagements. But the truth was, his letters cost 
him no expenditure of time ; they were ever the fresh thoughts 
and feelings of his soul at the moment he took up the pen ; his 
habitual frame of soul is what appears in them all. The calm, 
holy, tenderly-affectionate style of his letters reminds us of Sam- 
uel Rutherford, whose works he delighted to read — excepting only 
that his joy never seems to have risen to ecstasies. The selec- 
tion of his letters which I have made for publication, may exhibit 
somewhat of his holy skill in dropping a word for his Master on 
all occasions. But what impressed many yet more, was his man- 
ner of introducing the truth, most naturally and strikingly, even 
in the shortest note he penned ; and there was something so ele- 
gant, as well as solemn, in his few words at the close of some of 
his letters, that these remained deep in the receiver's heart. Wri- 
ting to Mr. G. S, on July 28, 1841, he thus draws to a close: 
" Remember me to H. T. I pray he may be kept abiding in 
Christ. Kindest regards to his mother. Say to her from me, 
'Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, forasmuch as ye 
know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver 
and gold ;' 1 Peter i. 17, 18. Keep your own heart, dear brother, 
'in the love of God' (Jude 21), in his love to you, and that will 
draw your love to him. Kindest remembrances to your brother. 
Say to him, ' Be sober and hope to the end.' (1 Peter i. 13.) To 
your own dear mother say, ' He doth not afflict willingly.' Write 
me soon. — Ever yours, till time shall be no more." In a note to 
the members of his own family : — " The Tay is before me now 


like a resplendent mirror, glistening in the morning sun. May 
the same sun shine sweetly on you, and may He that makes it 
shine, shine into your hearts to give you the knowledge of the 
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. — In haste, your affec- 
tionate son and brother." There were often such last words as 
the following — "Ofor drops in the pastures of the wilderness I 
The smiles of Jesus be with you, and the breathings of the Holy 
Ghost, Ever yours." (To Rev. J. Milne.) " May we have 
gales passing from Perth to this, and from here to you, and from 
heaven to both. Ever yours." (To the same.) " The time is 
short ; eternity is near ; yea, the coming of Christ the second time 
is at hand. Make sure of being one with the Lord Jesus, that 
you may be glad when you see him. Commending you all to our 
father in heaven," &c. (To his own brother.) " I have a host 
of letters before me, and therefore can add no more. I give you 
a parting text, 'Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.'" Another — 
" Farewell ! yours till the day dawn." To the Rev. Hor. Bonar 
he says, at the close of a letter about some ministerial arrange- 
ments, "I am humbled and cheered by what you say of good done 
in Kelso. Roll on, roll on, river of God, that art full of water. 
A woman came to me, awakened under your sermon to the chil- 
dren in the Cross Church, very bitterly convinced of sin. Glory 
to the Divine Archer, who bringeth down the people !" He closes 
a letter to a student thus : " Grace be with you, and much of the 
knowledge of Jesus — much of his likeness. I thirst for the know- 
ledge of the Word, but most of all of Jesus himself, the True 
Word. May he abide in you, and you in him ! The fear of Isaac 
watch over you." In concluding a letter to Mr. Bonar of Larbert, 
in February, 1843, some weeks before his last illness, he writes — 
"My soul often goes out at the throne of grace in behalf of Lar- 
bert and Dunipace. May the disruption be more blessed to them 
than days of peace ! How sweet to be in the ark when the 
deluge comes down. Ever yours in gospel bonds." 

The Jewish Mission continued near his heart, " the nearest,* 
said he to Mr. Edwards, who is now at Jassy, "of all missionary 
enterprises. Were it not for my own unfitness, and also the suc- 
cess the Lord has given me where I am, I would joyfully devote 
myself to it." In connection with this cause, he was invited to 
visit Ireland, and be })resent at the meeting of the Synod of our 
Presbyterian brethren in the summer of 1840. When preparing 
to set out, he notices the hand of his Master guiding him : — " July 
2. — Expected to have been in Ireland this day. Detained by not 
being able to get supply for Sabbath, in the good providence of 
God, for this evening there was a considerable awakening in the 
Cimrch while I was preaching uj)on Philip, iii. 18, ' Enemies of 
the cross of Christ.' When that part was expounded there was 
a loud and bitter weej)ing — probably thirty or forty seemed to 


share in it ; the rest deeply impressed — many secretly praying." 
On the Sabbath following, one person was so overcome as to be 
carried out of the church. 

He set out for Ireland on the 7th, and on the 10th witnessed at 
Belfast the union between the Synod of Ulster and the Secession. 
He speaks of it as a most solemn scene — 500 ministers and elders 
present. During his stay there, he pleaded the cause of the Jews 
in Mr. Morgan's Church, Mr. Wilson's, and some others ; and 
also visited Mr. Kirkpatrick at Dublin. He preached the way of 
salvation to the Gentiles in all his pleadings for Israel. His visit 
Was blessed to awaken a deep interest in the cause of the Jews, 
and his words sank into the consciences of some. His sermon 
on Ezekiel xxxiv. 16, was felt by some to be indescribably im- 
pressive ; and when he preached on Rom. i. 16, 17, many minis- 
ters, as they came out, were heard saying, " How was it we never 
thought of the duty of remembering Israel before ?" On another 
occasion, the people to whom he had preached entreated their 
minister to try and get him again, and if he could not preach to 
them, that at least he should pray once more with them. 

He was not, however, long absent trom home on this occasion. 
On the 25th, I find him recording — " Reached home ; entirely un- 
prepared for the evening. Spoke on Psalm li. 12, 13, "Restore 
unto me the joy,' &c. There seemed much of the presence of 
God — first one crying out in extreme agony, then another. 
Many were deeply melted, and all solemnized. Felt a good deal 
of freedom in speaking of the glory of Christ's salvation. Coming 
down, I spoke quietly to some whom I knew to be under deep 
concern. They were soon heard together, weeping bitterly ; 
many more joined them. Mr. Gumming spoke to them in a most 
touching strain, while I dealt privately with several in the vestry. 
Their cries were often very bitter and piercing, bitterest when 
the freeness of Christ was pressed upon them, and the lion's near- 
ness. Several were offended ; but I felt no hesitation as to our 
duty to declare the simple truth impressively, and leave God to 
work in their hearts in his own way. If he saves souls in a quiet 
way I shall be happy ; if in the midst of cries and tears, still I will 
bless 'his name. One painful thing has occurred : a man who pre- 
tends to be a missionary for Israel, and who brings forward the 
Apocryphal book of Enoch, has been among my people, in my 
absence, and many have been led after him. How humbling is 
this to them and to me ! Lord, what is man ! This may be blessed, 
1st, to discover chaff which we thought to be wheat; 2d, To lead 
some to greater distress of themselves, when their eyes are 
opened ; 3d, to teach me the need of solidly instructing those who 
seem to have grace in their hearts." 

The work of God went on, so much so at this time, that he gave 
it as his belief, in a letter to Mr. Purves of Jedburgh, that for 
some months about this period no minister of Christ had preached 


in a lively manner, without beinff blessed to some soul nmonc: his 

In other places of Scotland also the Lord was then pouring: out 
his spiiit. Perth has been already mentioned, and its vicinity. 
Throughout Ross-shire, whole congregations were frequently 
moved as one man, and the voice of the minister drowned in the 
cries of anxious souls. At Kelso, where Mr. Horace Bonar la- 
bored, and at Jedburgh, where Mr. Purves was pastor, a more 
silent, but very solid work of convei'sion was advancing. At 
Ancrum (once the scene of John Livingston's labors), the whole 
parish, but especially the men of the place, were awakened to the 
most solemn concern. On Lochtay-side, where Mr. Burns was 
for a season laboring, there were marks of the Spirit every vvheie ; 
and the people crossing the lake in hundreds, to listen to the 
words of life on the hill-side, called to mind the people of Galilee 
in the days when the Gospel began to be preached. At Lawers, 
Mr. Campbell, their pastor (who has now fallen asleep in Jesus), 
spoke ot the awakening as " like a resurrection," so great and 
sudden was the change from deadness to intense concern. On 
several occasions, the Spirit seemed to sweep over the congrega- 
tions 1 ke wind over the fields which bends the heavy corn to the 
earth. It was evident to discerning minds, that the Lord was 
preparing Scotland for some crisis not far distant. 

Several districts of Strathbogie had shared to some extent in a 
similar blessing. Faithful ministers were now everywhere on the 
watch for the shower, and were greatly strengthened to go for- 
ward boldly in seeking to cleanse the sanctuary. It was their 
fond hope that the Established Church of Scotland would soon be- 
come an example and pattern to the nations of a pure Church of 
Christ, acknowledged and upheld by the State, without being 
trammelled in any degree, far less controlled by civil interference. 
But Satan was stirring up adversaries on every side. 

The Court of Session had adopted a line of procedure that was 
at once arbitrary and unconstitutional. And now that Court in- 
terdicted, under the penalty of fine or imprisonment, all the minis- 
ters of the Church of Scotland from administering ordinances or 
preaching the Word in any of the seven parishes of Strathbogie, 
whose former incumbents had been suspended from otfice by the 
General Assembly for ecclesiastical offences. The Church saw it 
to be her duly to refuse obedience to an interdict, which hindered 
the preaching of Jesus, and attempted to crush her constitutional 
liberties. Accordingly, ministers were sent to these districts, fear- 
less of the result ; and under their preaching the gross darkness 
of the region began to give way to the light of truth. 

In the month of August, Mr. M'Cheyne was appointed, along 
with Mr. Gumming of Dumbarney, to visit Huntly, and dispense 
the Lord's Supper there. As he set out he expressed the hope, 
that " the dews of the Spirit there might be turned into the pouring 


rain." His own visit was blessed to many. Mr. Gumming 
preached the action sermon in the open air at the Meadow Well ; 
but the tables were served within the building where the congre- 
gation usually met. Mr. M'Cheyne preached in the evening to a 
vast multitude at the well ; and about a hundred waited after ser- 
mon for prayer, many of them in deep anxiety. 

He came to Edinburgh on the 11th, to attend the meeting of 
ministers and elders who had come together to sign the Solemn 
Engagement in defence of the liberties of Christ's Church. He 
nesitated not to put his hand to the Engagement. He then re- 
turned to Dundee ; and scarcely had he returned, when he was 
laid aside by one of those attacks of illness with which he was so 
often tried. In this case, however, it soon passed away. " My 
health," he remarked, " has taken a gracious turn, which should 
make me look up." But again, on September 6th, an attack of 
fever laid him down for six days. On this occasion, just before 
the sickness came on, three persons had visited him, to tell him 
how they were brought to Christ under his ministry some years 
before. " Why," he noted in his journal, " Why has God brought 
these cases before me this week ? Surely he is preparing me for 
some trial of faith." The result proved that his conjecture was 
just. And while his Master prepared him beforehand for these 
trials, he had ends to accomplish in his servant by means of them. 
There were other trials also, besides these, which were very heavy 
to him ; but in all we could discern the husbandman pruning the 
branch, that it might bear more fruit. As he himself said one day 
in the church of Abernyte, when he was assisting Mr. Manson, 
"If we only saw the whole, we should see that the father is doing 
little else in the world but training his vines." 

His preaching became more and more to him a work of faith. 
Often I find him writing at the close or beginning of a sermon : — 
"Master, help," " Help, Lord, help," "Send showers," "Pardon, 
give the Spirit, and take the glory," " May the opening of my lips 
be right things." The piercing effects of the word preached on 
souls at this season may be judged of, from what one of the awa- 
kened, with whom he was conversing, said to him, " 1 think hell 
would he some relief from an angry God." 

His delight in preaching was very great. He himself used to 
say that he could scarcely ever resist an invitation to preach. And 
this did not arise I'rom the natural excitement there is in com- 
manding the attention of thousands ; for he was equally ready to 
proclaim Christ to small country flocks. Nay, he was ready to 
ti'avel far to visit and comfort even one soul. There was an oc- 
casion this year on which he rode far to give a cup of cold water 
to a disciple, and his remark was, " I observe how often Jesus 
went a long way for one soul, as for example the maniac, and the 
woman of Canaan." 

In February, 1841, he visited Kelso and Jedburgh at the com- 


munion season ; and gladly complied with an invitation to An- 
crum also, that he might witness the hand of the Lord. " Sweet 
are the spots," he wrote, ' where Lnmanuel has ever shown his 
glorious power in the conviction and conversion oi sinners. The 
world loves to muse on the scenes where battles were fought and 
victories won. Should not we love the spots where our great 
Captain has won his amazing victories ? Is not the conversion of 
a soul more worthy to be spoken of than the taking of Acre ?" 
At Kelso, some will long remember his remarks in visiting a little 
girl, to whom he said, " Christ gives last knocks. When your 
heart becomes hard and careless, then fear lest Christ may have 
given a last knock." At Jedburgh, the impression left was chiefly 
that there had been among them a man of peculiar holiness. 
Some felt, not so much his words, as his presence and holy solem- 
nity, as if one spoke to them who was standing in the presence 
of God ; and to others his prayers appeared like the breathings 
of one already within the vail. 

I find him proposing to a minister who was going up to the 
General Assembly that year, " that the Assembly should draw 
out a Confession of Sin, for all its ministers." The state, also, 
of parishes under the direful influence of Moderatism, lay much 
upon his spirit. In his diary he writes — " Have been laying 
much to heart the absolute necessity laid upon the Church of send- 
ing the gospel to- our dead parishes, during the life of the present 
incumbents. It is confessed that many of our ministers do not 
preach the gospel — alas ! because they know it not. Yet they 
have complete control over their own pulpits, and may never 
sutTer the truth to be heard there during their whole incumbency. 
And yet our Church consigns these parishes to their tender mer- 
cies for perhaps fifty years, without a sigh ! Should not certain 
men be ordained as Evangelists, with full power to preach in 
every pulpit of their district — faithful, judicious, lively preachers, 
who may go from parish to parish, and thus carry life into mUny a 
dead corner?" This was a subject he often reverted to; and he 
eagerly held up the example of the Presbytery of Aberdeen, who 
made a proposal to this etfect. From some of his later letters, it 
appears that he had sometimes seriously weighed the duty of giv- 
ing up his fixed charge, if only the Church would ordain him 
as an Evangelist. So deep were his feelings on this matter, 
that a friend relates of him, that as they rode together through a 
parish where the pastor " clothed himself with the wool, but led 
not the flock," he knit his brow and raised his hand with vehe- 
mence as he spoke of the people left to perish under such a 

He was invited to visit Ireland again this year, his former visit 
having been much valued by the Presbyterian brethren there. 
He did so in July. Many were greatly stirred up by his preach- 
ing, and by his details of God's work in Scotland. His sermon 


on Song viii. 5, 6, is still spoken of by many. His prayerfulness 
and consistent holiness left enduring impressions on not a few ; 
and it was during his visit that a memorial was presented to the 
Irish Assembly in behalf of a Jewish mission. His visit was in 
a ereat measure the means of settinf? that mission on foot. 

Cordially entering into the proposal of the concert for prayer, 
lie took part, in September of this year, in the preliminary meet- 
ings in which Christians of all denominations joined. " How 
sweet are the smallest approximations to unity," is his remark in 
his diary. Indeed, he so much longed for a scriptural unity, that 
some time after, when the General Assembly had repealed the 
statute of 1799, he embraced the opportunity of showing his sin- 
cere desire for unity, by inviting two dissenting brethren to his 
pulpit, and then writing in defence of his conduct when attacked. 
In reference to this matter, he observed, in a note to a friend — " I 
have been much delighted with the 25th and 26th chapters of the 
Confession of Faith. O for the grace of the Westminster divines 
to be poured out upon this generation of lesser men !" 

As it was evident that his Master owned his labor abundantly, 
by giving him seals of his apostleship, there were attempts made 
occasionally by zealous friends to induce him to remove to other 
spheres. In all these cases, he looked simply at the apparent in- 
dications of the Lord's will. Worldly interest seemed scarcely 
ever to cross his mind in regard to such a matter, for he truly 
lived a disinterested life. His views may be judged of by one in- 
stance — a letter to Mr. Heriot of Ramornie, in reference to a 
charge which many were anxious to offer him. 

'■'■Dundee^ 2ith September, 1841. 

"Dear S[r, — I have received a letter from my friend Mr. 
M'Farlane of Collessie, asking what I would do if the people of 
Kettle were to write desiring me to be their minister. He also 
desires me to send an answer to you. I have been asked to leave 
this place again and again, but have never seen my way clear to 
do so, I feel quite at the disposal of my Divine Master. I gave 
myself away to him when I began my ministry, and he has 
guided me as by the Pillar Cloud from the first day till now. I 
think I would leave this place to-morrow if he were to hid me ; 
but as to seeking removal, I dare not and could not. If my min- 
istry were unsuccessful — if God frowned upon the place and 
made my message void — then I would willingly go ; for I would 
rather beg my bread than preach without success ; but I have 
never wanted success. I do not think I can speak a month in 
this parish without winning some souls. This very week I think 
has been a fruitful one, more so than many for a long time, which 
perhaps was intended graciously to free me from all hesitation in 
declining your kind offer. I mention these things, not, I trust, boast- 
fully, but only to show you the ground upon which I feel it to 


be my duty not for a moment to entertain the proposal. I have 
4000 souls here hanging: on me. I have as much of this world's 
goods as I care for. I have full liberty to preach the Gospel night 
and day ; and the Spirit of God is oi'ten with us. What can I 
desire more ? ' I dwell among mine own people.' Hundreds 
look to me as a father ; and I fear I would be a false shepherd if 
I were to leave them when the clouds of adversity are beginning 
to lower. I know the need of Kettle, and its importance ; and 
also the dark prospect of your getting a godly minister. StilJ 
that is a future event in the hand of God. My duty is made 
plain and s'mple according to God's Word. 

" Praying that the Lord Jesus may send you a star from his 
own right hand, believe me to be," &c. 

It was during this year that the Sabbath question began to in- 
terest him so much. His tract " I love the Lord's Day," was 
published December 18th ; but he had already exerted himself 
much in this cause, as Convener of the Committee of Presbytery 
on Sabbath Observance, and had written his well-known letter to 
one of the chief deienders of the Sabbath desecration. He con- 
tinued unceasingly to use every eff >rt in this holy cause. And 
is it not worth the prayers and self-denying efforts of every be- 
lieving man ? Is not that day set apart as a season wherein the 
Lord desires the refreshing rest of his own love to be offered to 
a fallen world ? Is it not designed to be a day on which every 
other voice and sound is to be hushed, in order that the silver 
trumpets may proclaim atonement for sinners ? Nay, it is under- 
stood to be a day wherein God himself stands before the altar and 
pleads with sinners to accept the Lamb slain, from morning to 
evening. Who is there that does not see the deep design of 
Satan in seeking to effect an inroad on this most merciful appoint- 
ment of God our Saviour ? 

Mr. M'Cheyne's own conduct was in full accordance with his 
principles in regard to strict yet cheerful Sabbath observance. 
Considering it the summit of human privilege to be admitted to 
fellowship with God, his principle was that the Lord's Day was 
to be spent wholly in the enjoyment of that sweetest privilege. 
A letter, written at a later period, but bearing on this subject, 
will show how he felt this day to be better than a thousand. An in- 
dividual near Inverness had consulted him on a point of Sabl>at- 
ical casuistry : the question was, Whether or not it was sinful to 
spend time in registering meteorological observations on the Sab- 
bath ? His reply was the following, marked by a holy wisdom 
and discovering the place which the Lord held in his inmost 
soul : — 

" December 7, 1842. 

" Dear Friend, — You ask me a hard question. Had you 
asked me what I ivould do in the case, I could easily tell you. I 
love the Lord's Day too well to be marking down the height of 


the thermometer and barometer every hour. 1 have other work 
to do, higher and better, and more hke that of angels above. The 
more enth'ely I can give my Sabbaths to God, and half forget 
that I am not before the throne of the Lamb, with my harp of 
gold, the happier am I, and I feel it my duty to be as happy as I 
can be, and as God intended me to be. The joy of the Lord is my 
strength. But whether another Christian can spend the Sabbath 
in his service, and mark down degrees of heat and atmospherical 
pressure, without letting down the warmth of his affections, or 
losing the atmosphere of heaven, I cannot tell. My conscience 
is not the rule of another maa One thing we may learn from 
these men of science, namely, to be as careful in marking the 
changes and progress of our own spirit, as they are in marking 
the changes of the weather. An hour should never pass without 
our looking up to God for forgiveness and peace. This is the 
noblest science, to know how to live in hourly communion with 
God in Christ. May you and I know more of this, and thank 
God that we are not among the wise and prudent from whom 
these things are hid I — The grace of the Lord of the Sabbath be 
with you," &c. 

Up till this period, the Narrative of our Mission to Israel had 
not been given to the public. Interruptions, arising from multi- 
plicity of labors and constant calls of duty, had from time to 
time come in our way, Mr. M'Cheyne found it exceedingly dif- 
ficult to spare a day or two at a time in order to take part. 
*' I find it hard work to carry on the work of a diligent pastor 
and that of an author at the same time. How John Calvin would 
have smiled at my difficulties !" At length, however, in the 
month of March, 1842, we resolved to gain time by exchanging 
each other's pastoral duties for a month. Accordingly, during 
four or five weeks, he remained in CoUace, my flock enjoying his 
Sabbath-day services and his occasional visits, while he was set 
free from what would have been the never-ceasing interruptions 
of his own town. 

Many a pleasant remembrance remains of these days, as sheet 
after sheet passed under the eyes of our mutual criticism. Though 
intent on accomplishing his work, he kept by his rule, " that he 
must first see the face of God before he could undertake any 
duly." Often would he wander in the mornings among the 
pleasant woods of Dunsinnan, till he had drunk in refreshment to 
his soul by meditation on the Word of God ; and then he took up 
the pen. And to a brother in the ministry, who had one day 
broken in upon his close occupation, he afterwards wrote — " You 
know you stole away my day; yet I trust all was not lost. I 
think I have had more grace ever since that prayer among the 
fir-trees. O, to be like Jesus, and with him to all eternity " Oc- 
casionally, during the same period, he wrote some pieces for the 


*• Christian's Daily Companion." The Narrative was finished in 
May, and the Lord has made it acceptable to the brethren. 

When this work was finished the Lord had other employment 
ready for him in his own parish. His diary has this entry : 
" May 2'2(\ — I have seen some very evident awakenings of late. 
J. G. awakened partly through the Word preached, and partly 
through the faithful warnings of her fellow-servant. A. R., who has 
been for about a year in the deepest distress, seeking rest, but 
finding none. B. M. converted last winter at the Tuesday meet- 
ing in Annfield. She was brouglit very rapidly to peace with 
God, and to a calm, sedate, prayerful state of mind. I was sur- 
prised at the quickness of the work in this case, and pleased with 
the clear tokens of grace ; and now I see God's gracious end in 
it. She was to be admitted at last communion, but caught fever 
before the Sabbath. On Tuesday last she died in great peace 
and joy. When she felt death coming on, she said, 'O death 
death, come ! let us sing !' Many that knew her have been a 
good deal moved homeward by this solemn providence. This 
evening, I invited those to come who are leaving the parish at 
this term. About twenty came to whom I gave tracts and words 
of warning. I feel persuaded that if 1 could follow the Lord 
more fully mxjself, my ministry would he used to make a deeper 
impression than it has yet done. 


• My meat is to do the will of him that sent nic, and to finish his work." — John iv. '.14 

During the summer of 1842, he was exposed to several attacks 
of illness, experienced some severe personal trials, and felt the 
assaults of sore temptation. His own words will best express his 
state. " July 17th — I am myself much tempted, and have no hope, 
but as a worm on the arm of Jesus." " August 4lh — Often, often, 
would I have been glad to depart, and be with Christ. I am now 
much better in body and mind, having a little of the presence of 
my beloved, whose absence is death to me." The sajne month — 
" 1 have been carried through deep waters, bodily and spiritual, 
«ince last we met." It was his own persuasion that few had more 
to strufT'de with in the inner man. Who can tell what wars go on 
within ? 

During this season of trial, he was invited to form one of a 
number of ministers from Scotland, who were to visit the north 


of England, with no other purpose than to preach the glad tidings. 
This scheme was planned by a Christiangentleman, who has done 
much for Christ in his generation. When the invitation I'eached 
him he was in the heat of his furnace. He mentioned this to the 
brother who corresponded with him on the subject, Mr. Purves 

of Jedburgh, whose reply was balm to his spirit "I have a 

fellow-feeling with you in your present infirmity, and you know 
for your consolation that another has, who is a brother indeed. In 
all our afflictions, he is afflicted. He is, we may say, the common 
heart of his people ; for they are one body, and an infirmity in 
the very remotest and meanest member is felt there and borne 
there. Let us console, solace, yea, satiate ourselves in him, as, 
amid afflictions especially, brother does in brother. It is blessed 
to be like him in everything, even in suffering. There is a great 
want about all Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers 
must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance. All 
the wounds of Christ send out sweetness — all the sorrows of 
Christians do the same. Commend me to a bruised brother, a 
broken reed — one like the Son of Man. The Man of Sorrows is 
never far from him. To me there is something sacred and sweet 
in all suffering ; it is so much akin to the Man of Sorrows." It 
was thus he suflfered, and thus that he was comforted. He wrote 
back, agreeing to go, and added, " Remember me especially, who 
am heavy laden oftentimes. My heart is all of sin ; but Jesus 

They set out for England. Mr. Purves, Mr. Somerville of 
Anderston, Mr. Camming of Durabarney, and Mr. Bonar of Kelso, 
formed the company. Their chief station was Newcastle, where 
Mr. Burns had been recently laboring with some success, and 
where he had se'en " a town giving itself up to utter ungodliness 
— a town where Satan's trenches were deep and wide, his wall 
strong and high, his garrison great and fearless, and where all that 
man could do seemed but as arrows shot against a tower of brass." 
But those who went knew that the Spirit of God was omnipotent, 
and that he could take the prey from the mighty. 

They preached both in the open air and in the places of wor- 
ship belonging to the Presbyterian and to the Wesleyan Metho- 
dists. The del'enders of the Sabbath cause were specially pre- 
pared to welcome Mr. M'Cheyne, whose tract on the Lord's Day 
had been widely circulated and blessed. Many were attracted to 
hear; interesting congregations assembled in the market-place, 
and there is reason to believe many were impressed. A person 
in the town describes Mr. M'Cheyne's last address as being pecu- 
liarly awakening. He preached in the open air, in a space of 
ground between the cloth-market and St. Nicholas' Church. Above 
a thousand souls were present, and the service continued till ten, 
without one person moving from the ground. The moon shone 
brightly, and the sky was spangled with stars. His subject was 

VOL. I. 9 


" The Great While Throne," (Rev. xx 11.) In concluding his 
address, he told them, "that they vi^ould never meet again till they 
all met at the Judgment-seat of Christ; but the glorious he.ivens 
over their head, and the bright moon that shone upon theni, and 
the old venerable church behind them, were his witnesses that he 
liad set before them life and death." Some will have cause to 
remember that night through etern'ty.* 

His preaching at Gilsland also was not without effect; and he 
had good cause to bless the Lord for bringing him through Dum- 
fries-shire in his way homeward. He returned to his people in 
the beginning of September, full of peace and joy. " I have re- 
turned much stronger, indeed quite well. I tTiink I have got some 
precious souls for my hire on my way home. I earnestly long 
for more grace and personal holiness, and more usefulness." 

The sunsets during that autumn were peculiarly beautiful. 
Scarcely a day past but he gazed upon the glowing west alter 
dinner; and as he gazed he would speak of the Sun of Right- 
eousness, or the joy of angels in his presence, or the blessedness 
of those whose sun can go no more down, till his face shone with 
gladness as he spoke. And during the winter, he was observed 
to be peculiarly joyful, being strong in body, and feehng the near 
presence of Jesus in his soul. He lived in the blessed conscious- 
ness that he was a clild of God, humble and meek, just because 
he was fully assured that Jehovah was his God and Father. Many 
often felt that in prayer the name *' Holy Father" was breathed 
with peculiar tenderness and solemnity from his lips. 

His Hock in St. Peter's began to murmur at his absence when 
again he left them for ten days in November, to assist Mr. Ham- 
ilton of Regent Square, London, at his communion. But it was 
his desire for souls that thus led him from place to place, combined 
with a growing feeling that the Lord was calling him to evange- 
listic more than to pastoral labors. This visit was a blessed one, 
and the growth of his soul in holiness was visible to many. Dur- 
ing the days of his visit to Mr. Hamilton, he read through the 
Sctng of S(jl(jmon at the time of family worship, commenting 
briefly on it with rare gracefulness and poetic taste, and yet rarer 
maniilsstation of soul-filling love to the Saviour's person. The 
sanctified affections of his soul, and his insight into the mmd of 
Jesus, seemed to have much afTected his friends on these occa- 

Receiving while here an invitation to return by the w'ay of 
Kelso, he replied : — 

"London, Nov. 5, 1S42. 

" My dear HoRATius, — Our friends here will not let me away till 
the Friday morning, so that it will require all my diligence to reach 

* He afterwards preached the same subject with equal ini press! vcn ess in the 
Meadows at Dundee. It was iu the open air, and the raia fell heavy, yet the dense 
crowd stood still to the last. 


Dundee before the Sabbath. I will thus be disappointed of the 
joy of seeing you, and ministering a word to your dear flock. 
O that my soul were new moulded, and I were effectually called 
a second time, and made a vessel full of the Spirit, to tell only of 
Jesus and his love. I fear I shall never be in this world what I 
desire. I have preached three times here ; a few tears also have 
been shed. O for Whitfield's week in London, when a thousand 
letters came ! The same Jesus reigns ; the same Spirit is able. 
Why is he restrained ? Is the sin ours ? Are we the bottle-stop- 
pers of these heavenly dews ? Ever yours till glory." 
" P. S. — We shall meet, God willing, at the Convocation." 

The memorable Convocation met at Edinburgh on November 
17th. There were five hundred ministers present from all parts 
of Scotland. The encroachment of the civil courts upon the pre- 
rogatives of Christ, the only Head acknowledged by our Church, 
and the negligent treatment hitherto given by the legislature of 
the country to every remonstrance on the part of the Church, had 
brought on a crisis. The Church of Scotland had maintained 
from the days of the Reformation that her connection with the 
State was understood to imply no surrender whatsoever of com- 
plete independence in regulating nil spiritual matters ; and to have 
allowed any civil authority to control her in doctrine, discipline, 
or any spiritual act, would have been a daring and flagrant act 
of treachery to her Lord and King. The deliberations of the 
Convocation continued during eight days, and the momentous re- 
sults are well known in this land. 

Mr. M'Cheyne was never absent from any of the diets of this 
solemn assembly. He felt the deepest interest in every matter 
that came before them, got great light as to the path of duty in 
the course of the consultations, and put his name to all the reso- 
lutions, heartily sympathizing in the decided determination that, 
as a Church of Christ, we must abandon our connection with the 
State, if our " Claim of Rights" were rejected. These eight days 
were times of remarkable union and prayerfulness. The pro- 
ceedings, from time to time, were suspended till the brethren 
had again asked counsel of the Lord by prayer ; and none pre- 
sent will forget the afl^ecting solemn' ty with which, on one occa- 
sion, Mr. M'Cheyne poured out our wants before the Lord. 

He had a decided abhorrence of Erastianism. When the ques- 
tion was put to him, *' Is it our duty to refuse ordination to any 
one who holds the views of Erastianism V He replied — " Cer- 
tainly, whatever be his other qualifications." He was ever a tho- 
rough Presbyterian, and used to maintain the necessity of abol- 
ishing lay patronage, because, 1. It was not to be found in the 
Word of God ; 2. It destroyed the duty of " trying the spirits ;" 
3. It meddled with the headship of CFu'ist, coming in between 
him and his people, saying, " I will place the stars." But still 


more decided was lie in regard to the spiritual independence of 
the Church. This he reckoned a vital question ; and in prospect 
of the disruption of the Church of Scotland, if it were denied, he 
stated at a public meeting — 1st, That it was to be deplored in 
some respects, viz., because of the sufferings of God's faithful ser- 
vants, the degradation of those who remained behind, the aliena- 
tion of the aristocracy, the perdition of the ungodly, and the sin 
of the nation. But, 2d, It w^as to be hailed for other reasons — 
viz., Christ's kingly office would be better known, the truth would 
be spread into desolate parishes, and faithful ministers would be 
refined. And when, on March 7th of the following year, the 
cause of the Church was finally to be pleaded at the bar of the 
House of Commons, I find him WM'iting — "Eventful night this in 
the British Parliament ! Once ^lore Kinc: Jesus stands at an 
earthly tribunal, and they know him not !" 

An interesting anecdote is related of him by a co-presbyter, 
who returned with him to Dundee after the Convocation. This 
co-presbyter, Mr. Stewart, was conversing with him as to what 
might be their duty to do in the event of the disruption, and where 
they might be scattered. Mr. Stewart said he could preach 
Gaelic, and might go to the Highlanders in Canada, if it were 
needful. Mr. M'Cheyne said — •' I think of going to the many 
thousand convicts that are transported beyond seas, for no man 
caret h for their souls." 

We have not many records of his public work after this date. 
Almost the last note in his diary is dated December 25. " Tliis 
day ordained four elders, and admitted a fifth, who will all, I trust, 
be a blessing in this place when I am gone. Was graciously 
awakened a great while before day, and had two hours alone 
with God. Preached w^ith much comfort on 1 Tim. v. 17, 'Let 
the elders that rule well,' &c. At the end of the sermon and 
prayer, proposed the regular questions; then made the congrega- 
tion sing standing ; during which time I came down irom the pul- 
pit and stood over the four men, then prayed, and all the elders 
gave the right hand of fellowship, during which I returned to the 
pulpit, and addressed them and the congregation on their relative 
duties. Altogether a solemn scene." 

The last recorded cases of awakening, and the last entry in his 
diary, is dated January G, 1843, " Heard of an awakened soni 
finding rest — true rest, I trust. Two new cases of awakening; 
both very deep and touching. At the very time when I was be- 
ginning to give up in despair, God gives me tokens of his pre- 
sence returning." 

He iiere speaks of discouragement, when God for a few 
months or weeks seemed to be withholding his hand from saving 
souls. If he was not right in thus hastily forgetting the past for 
a little, still this feature of his ministry is to be well considered 
He entertained so full a persuasion tiiat a faithful minister ha 


every reason to expect to see souls converted under him, that 
when this was withheld, he began to fear that some hidden evil 
was provoking the Lord and grieving the Spirit. And ought it 
not to be so with all of us 1 Ought we not to suspect, either that 
we are not living near to God, or that our message is not a true 
transcript of the glad tidings, in both matter and manner, when 
we see no souls brought to Jesus ? God may certainly hide from 
our knowledge much of what he accomplishes by our means, but 
as certainly will he bring to our view some seals of our ministry, 
in order that our persuasion of being thus sent by him may sol- 
emnize and overawe us, as well as lead us on to unwearied labor. 
Ought it not to be the inscription over the doors of our Assembly 
and college-halls : — " Thanks he unto God, which always causeth 
us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his 
knowledge by us in every place ;'^ 2 Corinthians ii. 14. 

About this time, in one of his MSS., there occurs this sentence 
— " As I was walking in the fields, the thought came over me 
with almost overwhelming power, that every one of my flock 
must soon be in heaven or hell. O how I wished that 1 had a 
tongue like thunder, that I might make all hear ; or that I had a 
frame like iron, that I might visit every one, and say, ' Escape foi 
thy life !' Ah, sinners ! you little know how I fear that you will 
lay the blame of your damnation at my door." 

He was never satisfied with his own attainments in holiness ; 
he was ever ready to learn, and quick to apply, any suggestion 
that might tend to his greater usefulness. About this period, he 
used to sing a psalm or hymn every day after dinner. It was 
often, " The Lord's my Shepherd," &c. ; or, "O may we stand 
before the Lamb," &c. Sometimes it was that hymn, " O for a 
closer walk with God ;" and sometimes the psalm, " O that I like 
a dove had wings," &c. A friend said of him, " I have sometimes 
compared him to the silver and graceful ash, with its pensile 
branches, and leaves of gentle green, reflecting gleams of happy 
sunshine. The fill of its leaf, too, is like the fall of his — it is 
green to-night, and gone to-morrow — it does not sere, nor 

An experienced servant of God has said, that, while popularity 
is a snare that few are not caught by, a more subtile and danger- 
ous snare is to he famed for holiness. The fame of being a godly 
man is as great a snare as the fame of being learned or eloquent. 
It is possible to attend with scrupulous anxiety even to secret hah 
its of devotion, in order to get a name for holiness.* If any 
were exposed to this snare in his day, Mr. M'Cheyne was the 

* How true, yet awful, is the language of Dr. Owen (quoted in Bridge's Christian 
Ministry, p. 16S), " He that would go down to the pit in peace, let him obtain a great 
repute for religion ; let him preach and labor to make others better than he is him- 
self, and, in the meantime, neglect to humble his heart, to walk with God in manifest 
holiness and usefulness, and he will not fail of his end." 


person. Yet nothing is more certain than that, to the very last, 
he was ever discovering, and successfully resisting, the deceitful 
tendencies of his own heart, and a tempting devil. Two things 
he seems never to have ceased from — the cultivation of personal 
holiness, and the most anxious efforts to save souls. 

About this time he wrote down, for his own use, an examina- 
tion into things that ought to be amended and changed. I sub- 
join it entire. How singularly close and impartial are these re- 
searches into his soul ! How acute is he in discovering his vari- 
ations from the holy law of God ! O that we all were taught by 
the same spirit thus to try our reins ! It is only when we are 
thus thoroughly experiencing our helplessness, and discovering the 
thousand forms of indwelling sin, that we really sit as disciples at 
Christ's feet, and gladly receive him as all in all ! And at each 
such moment we feel in the spirit of Ignatius, " M'v yuQ &oxr,>' ix(^ 
Tov (in6r,iivFoe<x" — " It is Only now that I begin to be a disciple." 

Mr. M'Cheyne entitles the examination of his heart and life 
" Reformation" and it commences thus — 

"It is the duty of ministers in this day to begin the reformation 
of religion and manners with themselves, families, &c., WMth con- 
fession of past sin, earnest prayer for direction, grace, and full 
purpose of heart. Mai. iii. 3 : ' He shall purify the sons of Levi.' 
Ministers are probably laid aside for a time for this very purpose. 

" 1. Personal Reformation. 

" I am persuaded that I shall obtain the highest amount of pre- 
sent happiness, I shall do most for God's glory and the good of 
man, and I shall have the fullest reward in eternity, by maintain- 
ing a conscience always washed in Christ's blood, by being filled 
with the Holy Spirit at all times, and by attaining the most entire 
likeness to Christ in mind, will, and heart, that it is possible for a 
redeemed sinner to attain to in this world. 

" I am persuaded that whenever any one from without, or my 
own heart from within, at any moment, or in any circumstances, 
contradict this — if any one shall insinuate that it is not for my pre- 
sent and eternal happines, and for God's glory, and my usefulness, 
to maintain a blood-washed conscience, to be entirely filled with 
the spirit, and to be fully conformed to the image of Christ in all 
things — that is the voice of the devil, God's enemy, the enemy ot 
my soul, and of all good — the most foolish, wicked and miserable 
of all the creatures. See Proverbs ix. 17. ' Stolen waters are 

"1. To maintain a conscience void of offence I am persuaded 
that I ought to confess my sins more. I think I ought to confess 
sin the moment I see it to be sin ; whether I am in company or 
in study, or even preaching, the soul ought to cast a glance ol ab- 


horrence at the sin. If I go on with the duty, leaving the sin un- 
confessed, I go on with a burdened conscience, and add sin to sin. 
I think I ought at certain times of the day — my best times — say, 
after breakfast and after tea — to confess solemnly the sins of the 
previous hours, and to seek their complete remission. 

" I find that the devil often makes use of the confession of sin 
to stir up again the very sin confessed into new exercise, so that 
I am afraid to dwell upon the confession. I must ask experienced 
Christians about this. For the present, I think I should strive 
against this awful abuse of the confession, whereby the devil seeks 
to frighten me away from confession. I ought to take all me- 
thods for seeing the vileness of my sins. I ought to regard my- 
self as a condemned branch of Adam — as partaker of a nature op- 
posite to God from the womb, Psa. li. — as having a heart full of 
all wickedness, which pollutes every thought, word, and action, 
during my whole life, from birth to death. I ought to confess often 
the sins of my youth, like David and Paul — my sins before con- 
version, my sins since conversion — sins against light and know- 
ledge — against love and grace — against each person of the God- 
head. I ought to look at my sins in the light of the Holy Law — 
in the light of God's countenance — in the light of the Cross — in 
the light of the Judgment-seat — in the light of hell — in the light of 
eternity. I ought to examine my dreams, my floating thoughts — • 
my predilections — my often recurring actions — my habits of 
thought, feeling, speech and action — tlie slanders of my enemies — 
and the reproofs, and even banterings, of my friends — to find out 
traces of my prevailing sm — matter for confession. I ought to 
have a stated day of confession, with fasting — say, once a-month. 
I ought to have a number of scriptures marked to bring sin to re- 
membrance. I ought to make use of all bodily affliction, domestic 
trial, frowns of Providence on myself, house, parish, church, or 
country, as calls from God to confess sin. The sins and afflictions 
of other men should call me to the same. I ought, on Sabbath 
evenings, and on Communion Sabbath evenings, to be especially 
careful to confess the sins of holy things. I ought to confess the 
sins of my confessions — their imperfections, sinful aims, self-right- 
eous tendency, &c. — and to look to Christ as having confessed my 
sins perfectly over his own sacrifice. 

" I ought to go to Christ for the forgiveness of each sin. In 
washing my body, I go over every spot, and wash it out : Should 
I be less careful in washing iny soul ? I ought to see the stripe 
that was made on the back of Jesus by each of my sins. I ought 
to see the infinite pang thrill through the soul of Jesus equal to an 
eternity of my hell for my sins, and for all of them. I ought to 
see that in Christ's bloodshedding there is an infinite overpayment 
for all my sins. Although Christ did not suffer more than infinite 
justice demanded, yet he could not suffer at all without laying 
down an infinite ransom. 


"I feel, when I have sinned, an immediate reluctance to go to 
Christ. 1 am ashamed to go. I feel as if it would do no good to 
go — as if it were making Christ a minister of sin, to go straight 
from the swine-trough to the best robe — and a thousand other ex- 
cuses ; but I am persuaded they are all lies, direct from hell. 
John argues the opposite way — ' If any man sin, we have an ad- 
vocate with the Father;' Jeremiah iii. 1, and a thousand other 
scriptures are against it. I am sure there is neither peace nor 
safety from deeper sin, but in going directly to the Lord Jesus 
Christ. This is God's way of peace and holiness. It is folly to 
the world and the beclouded heart, but it is the way. 

"1 must never think a sin too small to need immediate appli- 
cation to the blood of Christ. If I put away a good conscience, 
concerning faith, I make shipwreck. I must never think my sins 
too great, too aggravated, too presumptuous — as when done on 
my knees, or in preaching, or by a dying bed, or during danger- 
ous illness — to hinder me i'rom fleeing to Christ. The weight 
of my sins should act like the weight of a clock ; the heavier it is, 
it makes it go the faster. 

" I must not only wash in Christ's blood, but clothe me in Christ's 
obedience. For every sin of omission in self, I may find a divinely 
perfect obedience ready for me in Christ. For every sin of com- 
mission in self, I may find not only a stripe or a wound in Christ, 
but also a perfect rendering of the opposite obedience in my place, 
so that the law is magnified — its curse more than carried — its de- 
mand more than answered. 

"Often the doctrine of Christ for me appears common, well 
known, having nothing new in it ; and lam tempted to pass it by 
and go to some scripture more taking. This is the devil again — 
a red-hot lie. Christ for us is ever new, ever glorious. ' Un- 
searchable riches of Christ' — an infinite object, and the only one 
for a guilty soul. I ought to have a number of Scriptures ready, 
which lead my blind soul directly to Christ, such as Isaiah xlv., 
Romans iii. 

" 2. To be filled with the Holy Spirit, I am persuaded that I 
ought to study more my own weakness. I ought to have a num- 
ber pf Scriptures ready to be meditated on, such as Romans vii., 
John XV., to convince me that I am a helpless worm. 

"I am tempted to think that I am now an established Christian 
— that I have overcome this or that lust so long — that I have got 
into the habit of the opposite grace — so that there is no fear ; I 
may venture very near the temptation — nearer than other men. 
This is a lie of Satan. I might as well speak of gunpowder get- 
ting by habit a power of resisting fire, so as not to catch the spark. 
As long as powder is wet it resists the spark ; but when it be- 
comes dry it is ready to explode at the first touch. As long as the 
Spirit dwells in my heart he deadens me to sin, so that, if lawfully 
called through temptation, I may reckon upon God carrying me 


through. But when the Spirit leaves me I am Hke dry gunpov^^der. 

for a sense of this ! 

"I am tempted to think that there are some sins for which I have 

no natural taste, such as strong drink, profane language, &c., so 

that I need not fear temptation to such sins. This is a lie — a 

>roud, presumptuous lie. The seeds of all sins are in my heart, and 

perhaps all the more dangerously that I do not see them. 

" I ought to pray and labor for the deepest sense of my utter 
weakness and helplessness that ever a sinner was brought to feel. 

1 am helpless in respect of every lust that ever was, or ever will 
be, in the human heart. I am a worm — a beast — before God. 
I often tremble to think that this is true. I feel as if it would not 
be safe for me to renounce all indwelling strength, as if it would 
be dangerous for me to feel (what is the truth) that there is no- 
thing in me keeping me back from the grossest and vilest sin. 
This is a delusion of the devil. My only safety is to know, feel, 
and confess my helplessness, that I may hang upon the arm of 

Omnipotence I daily wish that sin had been rooted 

out of my heart. I say, ' Why did God leave the roots of lascivi- 
ousness, pride, anger, &c., in my bosom. He hates sin, and I 
hate it; why did he not take it clean away?' I know many an- 
swers to this which completely satisfy my judgment, but still I do 
not feel satisfied. This is wrong. It is right to be, weary of the 
being of sin, but not right to quarrel with my present ' good fight 

of faith.' The falls of professors into sin make 

me tremble. I have been driven away from prayer, and bur- 
dened in a fearful manner by hearing or seeing their sin. This is 
wrong. It is right to tremble, and to make every sin of every 
professor a lesson of my own helplessness, but it should lead me 
the more to Christ If I were more deeply con- 
vinced of my utter helplessness, I think I would not be so alarmed 

when I hear of the falls of other men I should 

study those sins in which I am most helpless, in which passion be- 
comes like a whirlwind and I like a straw. No figure of speech 
can represent my utter want of power to resist the torrent of 

sin I ought to study Christ's omnipotence more; 

Heb. vii. 25 ; 1 Thess. v. 23 ; Rom. vi. 14 ; Rom. v. 9, 10 ; and 

such Scriptures should be ever before me Paul's 

thorn, 2 Cor. xii., is the experience of the greater part of my life. 
It should be ever before me There are many sub- 
sidiary methods of seeking deliverance fi'om sins, which must not 
be neglected — thus, marriage, 1 Cor. vii. 2 ; fleeing, 1 Tim. vi. 11, 
1 Cor. vi. 18; watch and pray, Matt, xxvi. 41 ; the Word, ' It is 
written, it is written.' So Christ defended himself; Matt. iv. . . 
. . . But the main defence is casting myself into the arms of 
Christ like a helpless child, and beseeching him to fill me with the 
Holy Spirit ; ' This is the victory that overcometh the world, even 
our faith,' 1 John v. 4, 5 — a wonderful passage. 


" I ought to Study Christ as a Hving Saviour more — as a Shep- 
lierd, carrying the sheep he finds — as a King, reigning in and over 
the souls he lias redeemed — as a Captain, fighting with those who 
fight with me, Ps. xxxv. — as one who has engaged to bring vie 
through all temptations and trials, however impossible to flesh 
and blood. 

" I am often tempted to say, How can this man save us? How 
can Christ in heaven deliver me from lusts which I feel raging in 
me, and nets I feel enclosing me ? This is the father of lies 
again ! ' He is able to save unto the uttermost.' 

'• I ought to study Christ as an Intercessor. He prayed most 
for Peter who was to be most tempted. I am on his breast- 
plate. If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I 
would not lear a million of enemies. Yet the distance makes no 
difference ; he is praying for me. 

" I ought to study the Comf"orter more — his Godhead, his love, 
his ahnightiness. I have found by experience that nothing sancti- 
fies me so much as meditating on the Comforter, as John xiv. IG. 
And yet how seldom I do this! Satan keeps me from it. I am 
often like those men who said. They knew not if there be any 

Holy Ghost I ought never to forget that my body 

is dwelt in by the Third Person of the Godhead. The very 
thought of this should make me tremble to sin ; 1 Cor. vi. . . 
. . . . I ought never to forget that sin grieves the Holy 

Spirit — vexes and quenches him If I would be 

filled with the Spirit, I feel I must read the Bible more, pray 
more, and watch more. 

'• 3. To gain entire likeness to Christ, I ought to get a high 
esteem of the happiness of it. I am persuaded that God's hap- 
piness is inseparably linked in with his holiness. Holiness and 
happiness are light and heat. God never tasted one of the plea- 
sures of sin. 

"Christ had a body such as I have, yet he never tasted one of 
the pleasures of sin. The redeemed, through all eternity, will 
never taste one of the pleasures of sin ; yet their happiness is 
complete. It would be my greatest happiness to be from this mo- 
ment entirely like them. Every sin is something away from my 
greatest enjoyment. . . . The devil strives night and day to 
make me forget this or disbelieve it. He says. Why should you 
not enjoy this j)leasure as much as Solomon or David ? You may 
go to heaven a'so. I am persuaded that this is a lie — that my 
true happiness is to go and sin no more. 

" I ought not to delay parting with sins. Now is God's time. 
' I made haste and delayed not.' ... I ought not to spare 
sins, because I have long allowed them as infirmities ; and others 
would think it odd if I were to change all at once. What a 
wretched delusion of Satan that is! 

" Whatever I see to be sin, I ought from this hour to set my 


whole soul against it, us'iig- all scriptural methods to mortify it — 
as, the Scriptures, special prayer for the Spirit, fasting, watching. 

" 1 ought to mark strictly the occasions when I have fallen, and 
avoid the occasion as much as the sin itself. 

" Satan often tempts me to go as near to temptation as possible, 
without committing the sin. This is fearful — tempting God and 
grieving the Holy Ghost. It is a deep-laid plot of Satan. 

*' I ought to flee all temptation, according to Prov. iv. 15 — ■ 
* Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.' .... 
. . . I ought constantly to pour out my heart to God, pray- 
ing for entire conformity to Christ — for the whole law to be writ- 
ten on my heart I ought statedly and solemnly to 

give my heart to God — to surrender my all into his everlasting 
arms, according to the prayer — Ps. xxxi., ' Into thine hand I com- 
mit my spirit' — beseeching him not to let any iniquity, secret or 
Dresumptuous, have dominion over me, and to fill me with every 
grace that is in Christ in the highest degree that it is possible for 
a redeemed sinner to receive it, and at all times, till death. 

" I ought to meditate often on heaven as a world of hoHness — 
where all are holy, where the joy is holy joy, the work holy work ; 
so that, without personal holiness, I never can be there. . . . 
... I ought to avoid the appearance of evil. God commands 
me ; and I find that Satan has a singular art in linking the ap- 
pearance and reality together. 

"I find that speaking of some sin defiles my mind and leads 
me into temptation ; and I find that God forbids even saints to 
speak of the things that are done of them in secret. I ought to 
avoid this. 

" Eve, Achan, David, all fell through the lust of the eye. I 
should make a covenant with mine, and pray, ' Turn away mine 
eyes from viewing vanity.' .... Satan makes uncon- 
verted men hke the deaf adder to the sound of the gospel. I 
should pray to be made deaf by the Holy Spirit to all that 
would tempt me to sin. 

" One of my most frequent occasions of being led into tempta- 
tion is this — I say it is needful to my office that I listen to this, or 
look into this, or speak of this. So far this is true ; yet I am sure 
Satan has his part in this argument. I should seek divine direc- 
tion to settle how far it will be good for my ministry, and how far 
evil for my soul, that I may avoid the latter. 

"I am persuaded that nothing is thriving in my soul unless it is 
growing. ' Grow in grace.' ' Lord, increase our faith.' ' For- 
getting the things that are behind.' I am persuaded 

that I ought to be enquiring at God and man what grace I want, 

and how I may become more like Christ I ought to 

strive for more purity, humility, meekness, patience under suffer- 
ing, love. 'Make me Christ-like in all things,' should be my con- 
stant prayer. ' Fill me with the Holy Spirit.' 


" 2. Reformation in Secret Prayer. 

" I ought not to omit any of the parts of prayer — confession 
adoration, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession. 

" There is a fearful tendency to omit confession, proceeding 
from low views of God and his law — slight views of my heart 
and the sins of my past life. This must be resisted. There is a 
constant tendency to omit adoration, when I forget to whom 1 
am speaking — when I rush heedlessly into the presence of Jeho- 
vah, without remembering his awful name and character — when I 
have little eyesight for his glory, and little admiration of his won- 
ders. ' Where are the wise V I have the native tendency of the 
heart to omit giving thanks. And yet it is specially commanded, 
Phil. iv. 6. Often when the heart is selfish — dead to the salva- 
tion of others — I omit intercession. And yet it especially is the 
spirit of the Great Advocate, who has the name of Israel always 
on his heart. 

" Perhaps every prayer need not have all these ; but surely a 
day should not pass without some space being devoted to each. 

" I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep 
long, or meet with others early, and then have family prayer, and 
breakfast, and forenoon callers, often it is eleven or twelve o'clock 
before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is 
unscriptural. Christ rose before day, and went into a solitary 
place. David says, * Early will I seek thee ; thou shalt early 
hear my voice.' Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre while it 
was yet dark. Family prayer loses much of its power and sweet- 
ness ; and I can do no good to those who come to seek Irom me. 
The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. 
Then, when secret prayer comes, the soul is often out of tune. 
I feel it is far better to begin with God — to see his face first — to 
get my soul near him before it is near another. ' When I awake 
I am still with thee.' 

"If I have slept too long, or am going an early journey, or my 
time is any way shortened, it is best to dress hurriedly, and have 
a few minutes alone with God, than to give it up for lost. 

" But, in general, it is best to have at least one hour alone with 
God, before engaging in any thing else. At the same time, I must 
be careful not to reckon communion with God by minutes oi 
hours, or by solitude. I have pored over my Bible, and on my 
knees for hours, with little or no communion ; and my times Df 
solitude have been often times of greatest temj)tation. 

" As to intercession, I ought daily to intercede for my own fa- 
mily, connections, relatives, and friends ; also for my ilock — the 
believers, the awakened, the careless ; the sick, the bereaved ; 
the poor, the rich ; my elders. Sabbath-school teachers, day-school 
teachers, children, tract-distributors — that all means may be 
blessed. Sabbath-day preaching and teaching ; visiting of the 


Bick, visiting from house to house ; providences, sacraments. I 
oucjht daily to intercede briefly for the whole town, the Church 
of Scotland, all faithful ministers ; for vacant congregations, stu- 
dents of divinity, &c. ; for dear brethren by name ; for missiona 
ries to Jews and Gentiles ; and for this end I must read mission- 
ary intelligence regularly, and get acquainted vi^ith all that is do- 
ing throughout the world. It would stir me up to pray with the 
map before me. I must have a scheme of prayer, also the names 
of missionaries marked on the map. I ought to intercede at large 
for the above on Saturday uiorning and evening fi'om seven to 
eight. Perhaps also I might take different parts for different 
days ; only I ought daily to plead for my family and flock. I 
ought to pray in every thing. ' Be careful for nothing, but in 
every thing by prayer and supplication, make your re- 
quests known unto God.' Often I receive a letter asking to 
preach, or some such request. I find myself answering before 
having asked counsel of God. Still oftener a person calls and 
asks me something, and I do not ask direction. Often I go out to 
visit a sick person in a hurry, without asking His blessing, which 
alone can make the visit of any use. I am persuaded that I ought 
never to do any thing without prayer, and, if possible, special, se- 
cret prayer. 

" In reading the history of the Church of Scotland, I see how 
much her troubles and trials have been connected with the salva- 
'tion of souls and the glory of Christ. I ought to pray far more 
for our Church, for our leading ministers by name, and for my 
own clear guidance in the right way, that I may not be led aside, 
or driven aside, from following Christ. Many difficult questions 
may be forced on us for which I am not fully prepared, such as 
the lawfulness of Covenants. I should pray much more in 
peaceful days, tha.t I may be guided rightly when days of trial 

" I ought to spend the best hours of the day in communion with 
God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not 
to be thrust into any corner. The morning hours, from six to 
eight, are the most uninterrupted, and should be thus employed, if 
I can prevent drowsiness. A little time after breakfast might be 
given to intercession. After tea is my best hour, and that should 
be solemnly dedicated to God, if possible. 

" I ought not to give up the good old habit of prayer before 
going to bed ; but guard must be kept against sleep ; planning 
what things I am to ask is the best remedy. When I awake in 
the night, I ought to rise and pray, as David and as John Welsh 

" I ought to read three chapters of the Bible in secret every 
day, at least. 

" I ought on Sabbath morning to look over all the chapters read 
through the week, and especially the verses marked. I ought to 


read in three diflerent places ; I ought also to read according to 
subjects, lives," &;c. 

He has evidently left this unfinished, and now he knows even 
as he is known. 

Toward the end of his ministry, he became peculiarly jealous 
of becoming an idol to his people ; for he was loved and revered 
by mnny who gave no evidence of love to Christ. This often 
pained h!m much. It is indeed right in a people to regard their 
pastor with no common love, 2 Cor. ix. 14. but there is ever a 
d.inger ready to arise. He used to say, " Ministers are but the 
pole ; it is to the brazen serpent you are to look." 

The state of his heiilth would not permit him to be laborious in 
going from house to house, whereas preaching and evangelistic 
work in general wus less exhausting ; but of course, while he was 
thus engaged, many concerns of the parish would be unattended 
to; accordingly his Session offered him a sttJted assistant to help 
him in his parochial duty. With this proposal he at once con- 
curred. Mr. Gathei-er, then at Caraldstone, was chosen, and con- 
tinued to labor faithfully with him during the remaining days of 
his ministry. 

In the beginning of the year he published his ^^ Daily Breads* 
an arrangement of Scripture, that the Bible might be read through 
in the course of a year. He sought to induce his people to medi- 
tate much on the written word in all its breadth. His last publi- 
cation was, " Another Lily Gathered^ or the account of James 
Laing, a little boy in his flock, brought to Christ early, and carried 
soon to glory. 

In the middle of January, 1843, he visited CoUace, and preached 
on 1 Cor. ix. 27, " A Castaway" — a sermon so solemn that one 
said it was like a blast of the trumpet that would awaken the 
dead. Next day he rode on to Lintrathen, where the people 
were willing to give up their work at mid-day, if he would come 
and preach to them. All this month he was breathing after glory. 
In his letters there are such expressions as these : '° 1 often pray, 
Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made." 
"Often, often I would like to depart and be with Christ — to mount 
the Pisgah-top and take a farewell look of the Church below, and 
leave my body and be present with the Lord. Ah, it is far 
better !" Again : " I do not expect to live long. I expect a sud- 
den call some day — perhaps soon — and therefore I speak very 
plainly." But, indeed, he had long been persuaded that his course 
would be brief". His hearers remember well how often he would 
speak in such language as that with which he one day closed his 
sermon. "Changes are coming ; every eye before me shall soon 
be dim in death. Another pastor shall ieeA this flock ; another 
singer lead the psalm ; another flock shall fill this fold." 

In the beginning of February, by appointment of the Committee 


of ihe Convocation, he accompanied Mr. Alexander of Kirkaldy 
to visit the districts of Deer and Ellon — districts over which he 
yearned, for Moderatism had held undisputed sway over them for 
generations. It was to be his last evangelistic tour. He exem- 
plified his own remark, " The oil of the lamp in the temple burnt 
away in giving light; so should we." 

He set out, says one that saw him leave town, as unclouded and 
hap}>y as the sky that was above his head that bright morning. 
During the space of three weeks, he preached or spoke at meet- 
ings in four-and-twenty places, sometimes more than once in the 
same place. Great impression was made upon the people of the 
district. One who tracked his footsteps a month after his death 
states, that sympathy with the principles of our suffering Church 
was awakened in many places ; but above all, a thirst was excited 
for the pure Word of Life. Plis eminently holy walk and con- 
versation, combined with the deep solemnity of his preaching, was 
specially felt. The people loved to speak of him. In one place, 
where a meeting had been intimated, the people assembled, re- 
solving to cast stones at him as soon as he should begin to speak ; 
but no sooner had he begun, than his manner, his look, his words, 
rivetted them all, and they listened with intense earnestness ; 
and before he left the place, the people gathered round him, en- 
treating him to stay and preach to them. One man, who had 
cast mud at him, was afterwards moved to tears on hearing of his 

He wrote to Mr. Gatherer, February 14th, " I had a nice op- 
portunity of preaching in Aberdeen : and in Peterhead our meet- 
ing was truly successful. The minister of St. Fergus I found to 
be what you described. We had a solemn meeting in his Church. 
In Strichen, we had a meeting in the Independent Meeting-house. 
On Friday evening, we had two delightful meetings, in a mill at 
Crechie, and in the church of Clola. The people were evidently 
much impressed, some weeping. On Saturday evening we met 
in the Brucklay barn. I preached on Sabbath, at New Deer in 
the morning, and at Fraserburgh in the evening — both interesting 
meetings. To-night, we meet in Pitsligo church. To-morrow, 
we trust to be in Aberdour; and then we leave for the Presby- 
tery of Ellon. The weather has been delightful till now. To- 
dfiy, the snow is beginning to drift. But God is with us, and he 
will carry us to the very end. I am quite well, though a little 
fatigued sometimes." On the 24th, he writes to another friend, 
♦' To-day is the first we have rested since leaving home, so that I 
am almost overcome with fatigue. Do not be idle ; improve in 
all useful knowledge. You know what an enemy I am to idle- 

Never was it more felt that God was with him than in this jour- 
ney. The Lord seemed to show in him the meaning of the text, 
" Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." John vii. 38. 


Even when silent, the near intercourse he held with God left its 
impression on those around. His constant holiness touched the 
conscience of many. 

RetiMTiin.t: to his beloved flock on M/irch 1st, in good health, but 
much exhausted, he related next evenini]^ at his prayer-meeting, 
what thiuij^s he had seen and heard. During the next twelve 
davs, he was to be found going out and in among his people, fill- 
ing up, as his manner was, every inch of time. But he had been 
much weakened by his unceasing exertions when in the north, 
and so was more than ordinarily exposed to the typhus fever that 
was then prevailing in his parish, several cases of which he visited 
in his enfeebled state. 

On Sabbath the 5th, he preached three times ; and two days 
after, I find him writing to his fatlier : " All domestic matters go 
on like a placid stream — 1 trust not without its lertilizing influ- 
ence. Nothing is more improving than the domestic altar, when 
we come to it for a daily supply of soul nourishment." To the 
last we get glances into his soul's growth. His family devotions 
were full of life and full of gladness to the end. Indeed, his very 
manner in reading the chapter reminded you of a man pour- 
ing into the sands for pieces of fine gold, and from time to time 
holding up to you what he delighted to have found. 

On Sabbath the 12th, he preached upon Heb. ix. 15, in the 
forenoon, and Rom. ix. 22, 23, in the afternoon, with uncommon 
solemnity ; and it was observed, both then and on other late occa- 
sions, he spoke with peculiar strength upon the sovereignty of 
God. These were his last discourses to his people in St. Peter's. 
That same evening, he went down to Broughty Ferry, and 
preached upon Isaiah Ix. 1, " Arise, shine," &c. It was the last 
time he was to be engaged directly in proclaiming Christ to sin- 
ners ; and as he began his ministry with souls for his hire, so it 
appears that his last discourse had in it saving power to some, 
and that rather from the holiness it breathed than from the wis- 
dom of its words. After his death, a note was found unopened, 
which had been sent to him in the course of the following week, 
when he lay in the fever. It ran thus : " I hope -you will pardon 
H stranger for addressing to you a few lines, I heard you preach 
last Sabbath evening, and it pleased God to bless that Sermon to 
my soul. It was not so much what you said, as your manner of 
speaking, that struck me. I saw in you a beauty in holiness that 
I never saw before. You also said something in your prayer that 
struck me very much. It was, ' Tlioti knoitu-st that ive love thee.* 
O Sir, what would I give that I could say to my blessed Saviour, 
♦Tiiou knowest that 1 love thee.'" 

Next evening he held a meeting in St. Peter's with the view of 
organizing his people for collecting in behalf of the Free Protest- 
ing ('hurch — the disruption of the Establishment being now in- 
evitable. He spoke very fervently ; and after the meeting felt 


chilled and unwell. Next morning he felt that he was ill : but 
went out in the afternoon to the marriage of two of his flock. 
He seemed, however, to anticipate a serious attack, for, on his 
way home, he made some arrangements connected with his min- 
isterial work, and left a message at Dr. Gibson's house, asking 
him to come and see him. He believed that he had taken the 
fever, and it was so. That night he lay down upon the bed from 
which he was never to rise. He spoke little ; but intimated 
that he apprehended danger. 

On Wednesday, he said he thought that he would never have 
seen the morning, he felt so sore broken, and had got no sleep ; 
but afterwards added, " Shall we receive good at the hand of the 
Lord, and shall we not receive evil also V He seemed clouded 
in spirit, often repeating such passages as — " My moisture is 
turned into the drought of summer ;" " My bones wax old, 
through my roaring all day long.'' It was with difficulty that he 
was able to speak a few words with his assistant, Mr. Gatherer. 
In the forenoon, Mr. Miller of Wallacetown found him oppressed 
with extreme pain in his head. Amongst other things they con- 
versed upon Psalm cxxvi. On coming to the 6th verse, Mr. 
M'Cheyne said he would give him a division of it. 1. What is 
solved — " Precious seed." 2. The manner of solving it — " Goeth 
forth and weepeth." He dwelt upon " weepeth," and then said, 
" Ministers should go forth at all times." 3. The fruit — " Shall 
doubtless come again with rejoicing." Mr. Miller pointed to the 
certainty of it ; Mr. M'Cheyne assented, " Yes — doubtless." 
After praying with him, Mr. Miller repeated Matthew xi. 28, 
upon which Mr. M'Cheyne clasped his hands with great earnest- 
ness. As he became worse his medical attendants forbade him to 
be visited. Once or twice he asked for me, and was heard to 
speak of " Smyrna^ as , if the associations of his illness there, 
were recalled by his burning fever now. I was not at that time 
aware of his danger ; even the rumor of it had not reached us. 

Next day, he continued sunk in body and mind, till about the 
time when his people met for their usual evening prayer-meeting, 
when he requested to be left alone for half an hour. When his 
servant entered the room again, he exclaimed with a joyful voice, 
" My soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler ; 
the snare is broken, and I am escaped." His countenance, as he 
said this, bespoke inward peace. Ever after he was observed to 
be happy ; and at supper-time that evening, when taking a little 
refreshment, he gave thanks, " For strength in the time of weak- 
ness — for light in the time of darkness — for joy in the time of 
sorrow — for comforting us in all our tribulations, that we may be 
able to comfort those that are in any trouble, by the comfort 
wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 

On Sabbath, when one expressed a wish that he had been able 
to go forth as usual to preach, he replied, " My thoughts are not 

VOL. I. 10 


your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord ;" 
and added, "I am preaching the sermon that God would have me 
to do." 

On Tuesday (the 21st) his sister read to him several hymns. 
The last words he heard, and the last he seemed to understand, 
were those of Cowper's hyinn, " Sometimes the light surprises 
the Christian as he sings." And then the delirium came on. 

At one time, during the delirium, he said to his attendant, 
"JMind the text, 1 Corinth, xv. 58. Be steadfast, unmoveable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord," dwelling with much 
emphasis on the last clause, '•'forasmuch as ye know that your 
labor is not in vain in the Lord." At another time, he seemed to 
feel himself among his brethren, and said, •' I don't think much 
of policy in church courts ; no, I hate it ; but I'll tell you what I 
like, faithfulness to God, and a holy walk." His voice, which hi*d 
been weak before, became very strong now ; and often was hi 
heard speaking to, or praying for his people. "You must be 
awakened in time, or you will be awakened in everlasting tor- 
ment, to your eternal confusion !" " You may soon get me away, 
but that will not save your souls !" Then he prayed, " This 
parish, Lord, this people, this whole place !" At another time. 
" Do it thyself, Lord, for thy weak servant !" And again, as if 
praying for the saints, " Holy Father, keep through thine own 
name tliose whom thou hast given me !" 

Thus he continued most generally engaged, while the delirium 
lasted, either in prayer or in preaching to his people, and always 
apparently in hap))y frame, till the morning of Saturday the 25th. 
On that morning, while his kind medical attendant, Dr. Gibson, 
stood by, he lilted up his hands as if in the attitude of pronounc- 
ing the blessing, and then sank down. Not a groan or a sigh, but 
only a quiver of the lip, and his soul was at rest. 

As he was subject to frequent sickness, it was not till within 
some days of his death that serious alarm was generally felt, and 
hence the stroke came with awful suddenness upon us all. That 
same afternoon, while preparing for Sabbath duties, the tidings 
reached me. I hastened down, though scarce knowing why I 
went. His people were that evening met together in the church, 
and such a scene of sorrow has not often been witnessed in Scot- 
land. It was like the weeping of King Josiah. Hundreds were 
there ; the lower part of the church was full : and none among 
them seemed able to contain their sorrow. Every heart seemed 
bursting with grief, so that the weeping and the cries could be 
herird afar off. The Lord has most severely wounded the people 
whom he had before so peculiarly favored ; and now, by this 
awful stroke of his hand, was fixing deeper in their souls all that 
his servant had spoken in the days of his peculiar ministry. 

Wherever the news of his departure came, every Christian 
countenance was darkened with sadness. Perhaps, never was 


the death of one, whose whole occupation had been preaching the 
everlasting gospel, more felt by all the saints of God in Scotland. 
Not a few also of our Presbyterian brethren in Ireland felt the 
blow to the very heart. He used himself to say, " Live so as to 
be missed ;" and none that saw the tears that were shed over his 
death would have doubted that his own life had been what he re- 
commended to others. He had not completed more than twenty- 
nine years when God took him. 

On the day of his burial, business was quite suspended in the 
parish. The streets, and every window, from the house to the 
grave, were crowded with those who felt that a Prince in Israel 
had fallen ; and many a careless man felt a secret awe creep over 
his hardened soul as he cast his eye on the solemn spectacle. 

His tomb may be seen on the pathway at the north-west cor- 
ner of St. Peter's burying ground. He has gone to the " moun- 
tain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense, till the day break and 
the shadows flee away." His work was finished ! His heavenly 
Father had not another plant for him to water, nor another 
vine for him to train ; and the Saviour who so loved him was 
waiting to greet him with his own welcome — " Well done, good 
and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

But what is the voice to us ? Has this been sent as the stroke 
of wrath, or the rebuke of love? "His way is in the sea, and 
his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known." 
Only this much we can clearly see, that nothing was more fitted 
to leave his character and example impressed on our remem- 
brance forever than his early death. There might be envy while 
he lived ; there is none now. There might have been some of 
the youthful attractiveness of his graces lost had he lived many 
years ; this cannot be impaired now. It seems as if the Lord 
had struck the flower from its stem, ere any of the colors had 
lost their bright hue, or any leaf its fragrance. 

Well may the flock of St. Peter's lay it to heart. They have 
had days of visitation. Ye have seen the right hand of the Lord 
plucked out of his bosom ! What shall the unsaved among you 
do i« the day of the Lord's anger ! " If thou hadst known, even 
thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy 
peace !" 

It has been more than once the lot of Scotland (as was said in 
the days of Durham) to enjoy so much of the Lord's kindness, as 
to have men to lose whose loss has been felt to the very heart — • 
witnesses for Christ, who saw the king's face and testified of his 
beauty. We cannot weep them back : but shall we not call upon 
Him with whom is the residue of the Spirit, that ere the Lord 
come, he would i-aise up men, like Enoch or like Paul, who shall 
reach nearer the stature of the perfect man, and bear witness 
with more power to all nations 1 Are there not (as he who has 

148 MEMorn of the rev. r. m. m'cheyne. 

left us used to liope) ** better ministers in store for Scotland tlian 
any that luive yet arisen ?" 

Ministers of Christ, does not the Lord call upon us especially? 
Many of us are like the angel of the Church of Ephesus : we have 
" works, and labor, and patience, and cannot bear them that are 
evil, and we have borae, and for his name's sake we labor, and 
have not fainted ;" but we want the fervor of " first love." O 
how seldom now do we hear of fresh supplies of holiness arriving 
from the heavenly places (Eph. i. 3) — new grace appearing among 
the saints, and in living ministers ! We get contented with our 
old measure and kind, as if the windows of heaven were never to 
be opened. Few among us see the lower depths of the horrible 
pit ; few ever enter the inner chajiibers of the house of David. 

But there has been one among us who, ere he had reached the 
age at which a priest in Israel would have been entering on his 
course, dwelt at the Mercy-seat as if it were his house — preached 
the certainties of eternal life with an undoubting mind — and spent 
his nights and days in ceaseless breathings after holiness, and the 
salvation of sinners. Hundreds of souls were his reward from 
the Lord, ere he left us ; and in him have we been taught how 
much one man may do who will only press farther into the pre- 
sence of his God, and handle more skillfully the unsearchable 
riches of Christ, and speak more boldly for his God. We speak 
much against unfaithful ministers, while we ourselves are awfully 
unfaithful ! Are we never afraid that the cries of souls whom we 
have betrayed to perdition through our want of personal holiness, 
and our defective preaching of Christ crucified, may ring in our 
ears forever? Our Lord is at the door. In the twinkling of an 
eye our work will be done. *' Awake, awake, O arm of the Lord, 
awake as in the ancient days," till every one of thy pastors be will- 
ing to impart to the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made 
him overseer, not the Gospel of God only, but also his own soul. 
And O that each one were able, as he stands in the pastures feed- 
ing thy sheep and lambs, to look up and appeal to thee — " Lord, 
thou knowest all thing s ! thou knowest that 1 love thee .'" 


Written when first laid aside by that illness which afterwards led to the Jewish Mission. 

Edinburgh, January 12, 1839. 

My DEAR Friend — The very day I received your kijd letter, I 
intended to have written you that you might provide some one to 
stand in my place on Monday evening next. I am ashamed at 
not having answered your kind enquiries sooner, but am not very 
good at the use of the pen, and I have had some necessary letters 
to write. However, now I come to you. This is Saturday, 
when you will be busy preparing to feed the flock of God with ■ 
food convenient. Happy man ! It is a glorious thing to preach 
the unsearchable riches of Christ. We do not value it aright till 
we are deprived of it ; and then Philip Henry's saying is felt to be 
true — that he would beg all the week in order to be allowed to 
preach on the Sabbath-day. 

I have been far from alarmingly ill — my complaint is all unseen, 
and sometimes unfelt. My heart beats by night and day ; but es- 
pecially by night, too loud and too strong. My medical friends 
have tried several ways of removing it — hitherto without com- 
plete success. As long as it lasts, I fear I shall be unfit for the 
work of the ministry ; but I do hope that God has something more 
for me to do in the vineyard, and that a little patient rest, accom- 
panied by his blessing, may quiet and restore me. Oh ! my dear 
friend, I need it all to keep this proud spirit under, Andrew Bonar 
was noticing the providence of " Elijah in the wilderness " being 
my allotted part at our next meeting.* I read it in the congrega- 
tion the Sabbath after, with an envious feeling in my own heart, 
though I did not like to express it, that I would not be sent a like 
day's journey to learn the same lessons as the Prophet — that it is 
not the tempest, nor the earthquake, nor the fire, but the still 
small voice of the Spirit that carries on the glorious work of 
saving souls. 

Andrew will be with you on Monday, and I am almost tempted 
to send this to-night to the Post-office ; but it is not right to en- 
courage the Sabbath mail, so will defer it till Monday. May you 
have a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord ' May 
* See Memoir, chap, iii. 


He be the third with you who joined the two disciples on the way 
to Emniaus, and made their hearts burn by opening to them the 
Scriptures concerning himself ! I hope your evening meeting may 
be as delightful as the last. May your mind be solemnized, my 
dear friend, by the thought that we are ministers but for a time, 
that the Master may summon us to retire into silence, or may call 
us to the temple above ; or the midnight cry of the Great Bride- 
groom may break suddenly on our ears, Blessed is the servant 
that is found waiting ! Make all your services tell for eternity ; 
speak what you can look back upon with comfort when you must 
be silent. 

I am persuaded that I have been brought into retirement to 
teach me the value and need of prayer, Alas ! I have not esti- 
mated aright the value of near access unto God. It is not the 
mere daily routine of praying for certain things that will obtain 
the blessing. But there must be the need within — the real filial 
asking of God the things which we need, and which he delights 
to give. We must study prayer more. Be instant in prayer. 
You will be thinking my affliction is teaching me much, by my 
saying these things. Oh ! I wish it were so. Nobody ever 
made less use of affliction than I do. I feel the assaults of Satan 
most when I am removed into a corner ; every evil thought and 
purpose rushes over my soul, and it is only at times that I can 
find Him whom my soul loveth. 

Monday, January 14, 1839. — I now sit down to finish this, and 
and send it away. I am much in my usual to-day, perhaps, if 
anything, a little better. Still I have no hope at present of re- 
suming my labors. Will you give me a Sabbath day's labor ? I 
had no intention of asking you when I began this ; but I feel that 
I had better not close it without asking this favor. I would fain 
be back, but I do not feel that I would be justified in so doing. 
When I give a short prayer in the family, it often quite knocks 
me up. I heard of my people to-day : they are going on as well 
as can be expected. Death is busy among them, and Satan too. 
I try to lean them all on Him who entrusted them to me. I did 
hear of your brother's illness, and sympathized with you in it, 
though I heard no particulars. Write me particularly how he is. 
I hope and believe that he has an anchor within the vail, and 
therefore we need not fear for him whatever storms may blow. 
Remember me to him when you write him or see him. May 
we both be made better men, and holier, by our affliction. 

Take care of your health. Redeem the time, because the days 
are evil. Does the work of God still go on among your people ? 
There is a decided ijnprovement in the ministers here — more 
prayer, and faith, and hope. There are marks of God's Spirit not 
having left us. Remember me to Gillies and Smith, your fellow- 
laborers. May their names be in the Book of Life. Yours ever. 

RoBT. Murray M'Cheyne. 



Dvtring the continuance of the same illness. 

Edinbukgh, February 9, 1839. 

My dear Mrs. Thain— I am happy to receive your and Mr. 
Thain's kind letter. It is very cheering to me, in my exile from 
my flock, to hear of them. I send you a short line, as I am not 
good at vi^riting. I am glad you are keeping pretty well, and still 
more that your spiritual health seems to prosper. The spring is 
advancing — I feel already the softness of the wind — so that we 
may hope the winter is past, the rain over and gone. I know the 
summer revives you, and the doctor gives me good hope that it 
will revive me. In spiritual things, this world is all winter time 
so long as the Saviour is away. To them that are in Christ there 
are some sweet glistenings of his countenance, there are meltings 
of his love, and the sweet song of the turtle dove when his Holy 
Spirit dwells in the bosom ; still it is but winter time till our Lord 
shall come. But then, "to you that fear his name, shall the Sun 
of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings." And if before 
he comes we should go away to be where he is, still we shall en- 
ter into a world of perpetual summer — we shall behold his glory 
which the Father gave him. 

I feel much better than usual to-day, but I have returns of my 
beating heart occasionally. Jesus stands at the door and knocks, 
and sometimes I think the door will give way before his gentle 
hand. I am bid to try the sea-water hot-bath, which 1 hope will 
do me good. I have good hope of being restored to my people 
again, and only hope that I may come in the fulness of the bless- 
ing of the Gospel of Christ, that this time of silent musing may 
not be lost. 

I am thankful indeed at the appointment of Mr. Lewis. I hope 
he has been given in answer to prayer, and then he will be a bless- 
ing. We must pray that he may be furnished from on high for his 
arduous work. I have great hope that he will be the means of 
raising many more churches and schools in our poor town — I 
mean poor in spiritual things. 

. I hope Mr. Macdonald was happy, and made others so. " Apol- 
los watered." May great grace be upon you all. 

Your affectionate friend, &c. 

Before going forth on the mission to Israel. 

Edinburgh, March 15, 1839. 

My dear Mrs. Thain — You will think me very unkind in 
breaking my word to Mr. Thain in not writing you in answer to 


your kind letter by him. But I did too much the week he was in 
Edinburgh, and fairly knocked myself up, so that I had just to lay 
aside my pen and suffer (juietly. My friendly monitor is seldom 
far away from me, and when I do anything too much he soon 
checks me. However, I feel thankful that I am better again this 
week, and was thinking I would preach again. This is always 
the way with me. When my heart afllicts me, I say to myself — 
Farewell, blessed work of the gospel ministry ! happy days of 
preaching Christ and him crucified ! winning jewels for an eter- 
nal crown ! And then again, when it has abated, I feel as if I 
would stand up once more to tell all the world what the Lord of 
Glory has done for sinners. 

You have sent me a pocket companion (a Bible) for Immanuel's 
Land. I shall indeed be very happy to take it with me, to remind 
me of you and your kind family, at the time when I am meditating 
on the things that concern our everlasting peace. All my ideas 
of peace and joy are linked in with my Bible ; and I would not 
give the hours of secret converse with it for all the other hours I 
spend in this world. 

Mr. M is the bearer of this, and I have told him he is to 

call on you with it. He is one much taught of God, and though 
with much inward corruption to fight against, he still holds on the 
divine way a burning and shining lamp. 

I knew you would be surprised at the thought of my going so 
far away ; and, indeed, who could have foreseen all that has 
happened ? I feel very plainly that it is the Lord's doing, and 
this has taken away the edge of the pain. How many purposes 
God has in view of which we know nothing ! Perhaps we do not 
see the hundredth part of his intentions towards us in sending me 
away. I am contented to be led blindfold, for I know that all will 
redound, through the thanksgiving of many, to the glory of our 
heavenly Father. I feel very plainly that towards many among 
my people this separation has been a most faithful chastisement. 
To those that liked the man but not the message — who were 
pleased with the vessel but not with the treasure — it will reveal 
the vanity of what they thought their good estate. To some, I 
hope, it has been sent in mercy. To some, I fear, it has been sent 
in judgment. Above all, none had more need of it than myself; 
for I am naturally so prone to make an ill use of the attachment 
of my people, that I need to be humbled in the dust, and to see 
that it is a very nothing. I need to be made willing to be for- 
gotten. Oh ! I wish that my heart were quite refined from all 
self-seeking. I am quite sure that our truest happiness is not to 
seek our own — ^just to forget ourselves — and to fill up the little 
space that remains seeking only, and above all, that our God 
may be glorified. But when I would do good, evil is present 
with me. 

I am not yet sure of the day of my going away. There is to 


De a meeting on Monday to arrange matters. Andrew Bonar 
and Dr. Black can hardly get away till the first week of April ; 
but I may probably go before to London next week. I know you 
will pray for me in secret and in the family, that I may be kept 
from evil, and may do good. Our desire is to save sinners — to 
gather souls, Jew or Gentile, before the Lord come. Oh is it not 
wonderful how God is making people take an interest in the 
Jews ! Surely the way of these Kings of the East will be soon 

I shall be quite delighted if J is able to take a small part in 

the Sabbath school. She knows it is what I always told her, not 
to be a hearer of the Word only, but a doer. It is but a little 
time, and we shall work no more here for him. Oh that we might 
glorify him on the earth ! I believe there are better ministers in 
store for Scotland than any that have yet appeared. Tell J 
to stay herself upon God. Jesus continueth ever, he hath an un- 
changeable priesthood. Others are not suffered to continue by 
reason of death. 

You expected me in Dundee before I go ; but I dare not. You 
remember Paul sailed past Ephesus — he dared not encounter the 
meeting with his people. Indeed, I do not dare to think too much 
on my going away, for it often brings sadness over my spirit, 
which I can ill bear just now. But the will of the Lord be done. 

Kindest regards to you all. Christ's peace be left with you. I 
shall remember you all, and be glad to write you a word when 
I am far away. Yours ever, &c. 


How his silence may be useful to his people and himself. 

Edinburgh, March 14, 1839. 

My dear Miss Collier — I feel it very kind your writing to 
me, and rejoice in sending you a word in answer by my excellent 
friend Mr. Moody. Indeed, I was just going to write to you 
when I received yours, for I heard you had been rather poorly, 
and I was going to entreat of you to take care of yourself, for 
you 'do not know how much my life is bound up in your life, and 
in the life of those around you who are like minded. I feel it 
quite true that my absence should be regarded by my flock as a 
mark that God is chastening them ; and though I know well that 
1 am but a dim light in the hand of Jesus, yet there is always 
something terrible where Jesus withdraws the meanest light in 
Ruch a dark world. I feel that to many this trial has been abso- 
lutely needful. Many liked their minister naturally, who had but 
Uttle real relish for the message he carried. God now sifts these 
souls, and wants to show them that it is a looking to Jesus that 


saves, and not a looking to man. I think I could name many to 
whom this trial should be blessed. Some also who were really 
on the true foundation, but were building wood, hay, and stubble 
upon it, may be brought to see that nothing will truly comfort in 
the day of the Lord but what can stand the hour of trial. You your- 
self, my dear friend, may be brought to cleave much more simply to 
the Lord Jesus. You may be made to feel that Christ continueth 
ever, and hath an unchangeable priesthood, that his work is per- 
fect, and that infinitely ; and poor and naked as we are, we can ap- 
pear only in him — only in him. But if the trial was needed by 
my people, it was still more needed by me. None but God knows 
what an abyss of corruption is in my heart. He knows and 
covers all in the blood of the Lamb. In faithfulness thou hast 
afflicted me. It is perfectly wonderful that ever God could bless 
such a ministry. And now, when I go over all the faults of it, it 
appears almost impossible that I can ever preach again. But 
then I think again who can preach so well as a sinner — who is for- 
given so much, and daily upheld by the Spirit with such a heart 
within ! I can truly say that the fruit of my long exile has been, 
that I am come nearer to God, and long more for perfect holiness, 
and for the world where the people shall be all righteous. I do 
long to be free from self, from pride, and ungodliness, and I know 
vfhere to go, " for all the promises of God in Christ are yea and 
amen in Christ Jesus." Christ is my armory, and I go to him to 
get the whole armor of God — the armor of light. My sword 
and buckler, my arrows, my sling and stone, all are laid up in 
Jesus. 1 know you find it so. Evermore grow in this truly j)rac- 
tical wisdom. You have a shepherd ; you shall never want. 
What effect my long absence may have on the mass of uncon- 
verted souls I do not know. . I cannot yet see God's purposes to- 
ward them ; perhaps it may be judgment, as in the case of Ephe- 
sus. Rev. ii. 5 ; perhaps it may be in mercy, as in the case of 
Laodicea, Rev. iii. 19 ; or perhaps there are some who would 
not bend under my ministry, who are to flow down as wax before 
the fire under the ministry of the precious fellow-laborer who is 
to succeed me. William Burns, son of the minister of Kilsyth, 
has for the present agreed to supply my place ; and though there 
is a proposal of his being sent to Ceylon, I do hope he may be 
kept for us. He is one truly taught of God — young, but Christ 
lives in him. You know he comes of a good kind by the flesh. 

Another reason of our trial, I hope, has been God's mercy to 
Israel. There is something so wonderful about the way in which 
all difficulties iiave been overcome, and the way opened up, that 
I cannot doubt the hand of Jehovah has been in it. This gives 
me, and should give you, who love Isi-ael, a cheering view of this 
trial. The Lord meant it for great good. If God be glorified, 
is not this our utmost d(!sire. Oh, it is sweet, when in prayer we 
can lay ourselves and all our interests along with Zion, in the 


nands of Him whom we feel to be Ahha ? And if we are thus 
tied ourselves in the same bundle with Zion, we must resign all 
right to ourselves, and to our wishes. May the Lord open up a way 
to his name being widely glorified on the earth even before we 
die ! I know you will pray for us on our way, that our feet may 
be beautiful on the mountains of Israel, and that we may say to 
Zion, " Thy God reigneth." Pray that your poor friend may be 
supplied out of His riches in glory, that he may not shrink in 
hours of trial, but endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus 
Christ. I will remember you when far away, and pray God to 
keep you safe under the shadow of the Redeemer's wings till I 
come again in peace, if it be his holy will. Dr. Black and An- 
drew Bonar have both consented to go. I shall probably be sent 
before to London, next week, to open the way. I am not very 
strong yet ; often revisited by my warning friend, to tell me that 
I may see the New Jerusalem before I see the Jerusalem beneath. 
However, I have the sentence of death in myself, and do not trust 
in myself, bat in God who raises the dead. 

I saw Mrs. Coutts yesterday, in good health, and full of spirit. 
She almost offered to go with us to Immanuel's Land. I fear the 
Pastoral Letters are not worth printing ; but I shall ask others 
what they think. Farewell for the present. The Lord give you 
all grace and peace. Your affectionate pastor, &c. 


On his agreeing to undertake the charge of St. Peter's, during Mr. M'C.'s absence in Palestine. 

Edinburgh, Hill Street^ March 22, 1839. 

My dear Friend — for I trust I may now reckon you among 
the number in the truest sense — I haste to send you a line in an- 
swer to your last. I am glad you have made up your mind to 
begin your spiritual charge over my flock on the first week of 
April. The committee have resolved that I leave this on Wed- 
nesday next, so that you will not hear from me again till I am 
away. Take heed to thyself. Your own soul is your first and 
greatest care. You know a sound body alone can work with 
power ; much more a healthy soul. Keep a clear conscience, 
through the blood of the Lamb. Keep up close communion with 
God. Study likeness to him in all things. Read the Bible for 
your own growth first, then for your people. Expound much ; 
it is through the truth that souls are to be sanctified, not through 
essays upon the truth. Be easy of access, apt to teach, and the 
Lord teach you and bless you in all you do and say. You will 
not find many companions. Be the more with God. My dear 
people are anxiously waiting for you. The prayerful are pray- 
ing for you. Be of good courage, there remaineth much of the 


land to be possessed. Be not dismayed, for Christ shall be with 
thee to deliver thee. Study Isaiah vi., and Jeremiah i., and the 
sending of Moses, and Psalm li. 12, 13, and John xv. 26, 27, and 
the connection in Luke i. 15, IG. 

I shall ho]»e to hear from you when I am away. Your accounts 
of my people will be a good word to make my heart glad. I 
am often sore cast down ; but the eternal God is my refuge. 
Now fiirewell ; the Lord make you a faithful steward. Ever 
yours, &c. 


View of what God has done — how it should affect them. 

Edinburgh, January 30, 1839. 

To all of you, my dear friends and people, who are beloved of 
God, and faithful in Christ Jesus, your pastor wishes grace and 
peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.* 

As several of you have expressed a desire to hear from me, and 
as he who at first sent me to you to bear witness of the Lord 
Jesus, has for many weeks withdrawn me, and still lays his af- 
flicting but gentle hand on me, it has seemed good to me. not 
without prayer, to write to you from week to week a short 
word of exhortation. May the Holy Spirit guide the pen, that 
what is written may be blessed to your comibrt and growth in 
grace ! 

God is my record how greatly I long after you all in the bow- 
els of Jesus Christ ; and the walls of my chamber can bear wit- 
ness how often the silent watches of the night have been filled up 
with entreaties to the Lord for you all. I can truly say with 
John, "that I have no greater joy than to hear that my children 
walk in the truth ;" and though many of you were in Christ be- 
fore me, and were living branches of the true vine before I was 
sent into the vineyard, yet believe me it is true of you also, I have 
no greater joy than to know, that you are more and more filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and bear more and more fruit to the glory 
of God the Father. " Herein is the Father glorified that you 
bear much fruit." You remember \vh:it Paul, when he was a 
prisoner of the Lord, wrote to the Philip])ians, (i. 12,) " I would 
that ye should understand, brethren, that the things which hap- 
pened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtlierance of the 
gospel." I am very anxious that you and I should understand the 

• He had begun to correct a copy of those Pastoral Letters for publicntion at the 
earnest request of some of his friends. The few corrections made are all inserted. 
The chief alterations arc in the fourth of the Pastoral Letters. He hud got no 
farther than the seventh. 


very same, fti the things which have happened unto me, that we 
may vindicate God in all his dealings with us, and " not despise 
the chastening of the Lord." I know too well that there are 
many amongst you who would feel it no grievance if all the 
Lord's ministers were taken out of the way. Ah ! how many 
are there who would rejoice if they were forever left to sin un- 
reproved, and to do what is right in their own eyes. Still I am 
quite sure that to you, " who have obtained like precious faith 
with us" — to you, who are the Lord's people, the present is a sea- 
son of affliction, and you feel, as Naomi felt, that the hand of the 
Lord is gone out against us. My present object in writing you is 
shortly to persuade you, that " it is well" — " the Lord doeth all 
things well" — and that it may be really for the furtherance of 
the gospel among you. In many ways may this be the case. 

Fh'st, With respect to myself It does not become me here to 
show what benefit it may be to me. Suffice it to say, that it has 
been a precious opportunity in which to reflect on the sins and 
imperfections of my ministry among you. A calm hour with 
God is worth a whole lifetime with man. Let it be your prayer 
that I may come out like gold, that the tin may be taken away, 
and that I may come back to you, if that be the will of God, a 
better man, and a more devoted minister. I have much to 
learn, and these words of David have been often in my heart 
and on my lips, " I know that thy judgments are right, and that 
thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." Psalm cxix. 75. Min- 
isters are God's tools for building up the Gospel Temple. Now 
you know well that every wise workman takes his tools away 
from the work from time to time, that they may be ground and 
sharpened ; so does the only- wise Jehovah take his ministers 
oftentimes away into darkness and loneliness and trouble, that 
he may sharpen and prepare them for harder work in his service. 
Pray that it may be so with your own pastor. 

Second, With regard to you, my dear brothers and sisters in 
the Lord, this time of trial is for your furtherance. Does not 
God teach you, by means of it, to look beyond man to the Sa- 
viour, who abideth ever ? Is not God showing you that ministers 
are earthen vessels, easily broken, and fit only to be cast aside 
like, a broken pitcher out of mind ? Is he not bidding you look 
more to the treasure which was in them, and which flows in all 
its fulness from Christ 1 It is a sad error into which I see 
many Christians falling, that of leaning upon man, mistaking 
friendship toward a minister for faith on the Son of God. 

Remember that before Moses was sent to deliver Israel, his 
hand was made leprous, as white as snow, to teach them that it 
was not the might of that hand that could deliver Israel. Exod. 
iv. 6, 7. It has been the fault of some of you to lean too nmch 
on man. Now God is teaching you that, though the cistern may 
break, the fountain abides as open and full and free as ever — that 


it is not from sitting under any particular ministry that you are to 
get nourishment, but from being vitally united to Christ. Minis- 
ters " are not suffered to continue by reason of death, but Christ, 
because he continueth ever, ha/h an unchangeable priesthood." 
Hel)re\vs vii. 23. 

Third, With regard to those among you who are almost, but 
not (iltoff-ethcr, persuaded to be Christians, does not this provi- 
dence teach you to make sure of an interest in Christ without 
delay ? You thought you would have the Saviour held up to you 
for an indefinite number of Sabbaths, little thinking that your 
Sabbaths and mine are all numbered. Many a time you have 
said to me in your heart, " Go thy way for this time, when I have 
a more convenient season I will call for thee." You did not think 
that a time might come when you may call for your teachers, and 
they be silent as the grave. 

I find many godly people here are looking forward to a time 
when God's faithful witnesses shall be put to silence, and anxious 
souls shall wander from sea to sea, seeking the Word of God, and 
shall not find it. Be entreated, O wavering souls, to settle the 
question of your salvation now. Why halt ye between two 
opinions ? It is most unreasonable to be undecided about the 
things of an endless eternity, in such a world as this, with such 
frail bodies, with such a Saviour stretching out his hand, and such 
a spirit of love striving with you. Remember you are tiesh — you 
will soon hear your last sermon. " I call heaven and earth to re- 
cord this day against you, that I have put before you life and 
death, blessing and cursing, therefore choose life, that thou and 
thy seed may live." Deut. xxx. 19. 

Fourth, There is another class who are not of you, and yet are 
on every hand of you, " of whom I have told you often, and now 
tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of 
Christ, whose God is Uieir belly, who glory in their shame, who 
mind earthly things." Ah I you would not believe if I were to 
tell you the great heaviness and continual sorrow that I have xTi 
my heart for you ; and yet I hope my absence may be blessed 
even to you. Just think for a moment if God were to remove 
your teachers one by one — if he were to suffer the Church ot our 
covenanted fathers to fall before the hands of her enemies — if he 
were to sulfer Popery again to spread its dark and deadly shade 
over the land, where would you be ? — you that despise the Sab- 
bath, that care little for the preached word — you that have no 
prayer in your fiimilies, and seldom in your closets — you that are 
lovers of jileasure — you that wallow in sin I You would have 
your wish then — you would have your silent Sabbaths indeed— 
no warning voice to cry after you — no praying people to pray for 
you — none to check you in your career of wickedness — none to 
beseech you not to perish. Learn from so small a circumstance 
31 the absence of your stated minister what may be in store lor 


you, and flee now from the wrath to come. " It may be ye shall 
be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zeph. ii. 3. 

Finally, My brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy 
and crown, abide all the more in Christ because of my absence, 
and maintain a closer walk with God, that when I return, as God 
gives me good hopes now of doing, I may rejoice to see what 
great things God has done for your souls. God feeds the wild 
flowers on the lonely mountain side, without the help of man, and 
they are as fresh and lovely as those that are daily watched over 
in our gardens. So God can feed his own planted ones without 
the help of man, by the sweetly falling dew of his Spirit. How 
I long to see you walking in holy communion with God, in love 
to the brethren, and burning zeal for the cause of God in the 
world ! I will never rest, nor give God rest, till He make you a 
lamp that burneth — a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. Now 
strive together with me, in your prayers to God for me» that I 
may come unto you with joy by the will of God. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be 
with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. 


Past times of priTileges reviewed — privileges still remaining. 

Edinburgh, February 6, 1839. 

To all of you, my dear flock, who have chosen the good part 
which cannot be taken away, your pastor wishes grace, mercy, 
and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The sweet singer of Israel begins one of his psalms with these 
remarkable words — " I will sing with mercy and judgment ; unto 
thee, O God, will I sing." This is the experience of all God's ser- 
vants in time of trouble. Even in the wildest storms the sky is 
not all dark ; and so in the darkest dealings of God with his chil- 
dren, there are always some bright tokens for good. His way 
with us of late has been " in the sea, and his path in the deep 
waters." Yet some of you may have felt that his own hand was 
leading us like a flock. Psalm Ixxvii. 19, 20. One great token 
of his loving kindness has been the way in which he has supplied 
the 'absence of your stated minister. Ordained messencjers, men 
of fjiith and prayer, have spoken to you from Sabbath to feaohath 
in the name of the Lord. Awakening, inviting, comforting mes- 
sages you have had ; and even your meetings on Thursday even- 
ings he has continued to you ; the gates of the house of prayer, 
like the gates of the city of refuge, have been as open to you as 
ever, inviting you to enter in and behold by faith what Jacob saw 
in Bethel, " the ladder set on earth, and the top of it reaching into 
heaven," inviting you to meet with Him with whom Jacob wrestled 
till the breaking of the day. Think how often, in times of perse- 


cution, the Apostles \vere const rainefi to leave the seed thev had 
sown, without ieavintr any one to water it bnt " the Lord on 
whom they believed." See Acts xiii. 50, 52, and xiv. 23, and xvi. 
40. How often, in times of persecution in the Church of Scot- 
land, our faithful pastors had to leave their few sheep in the 
wilderness, without any human shepherd to care for their souls, 
commending them to God, and to the word of his grace. These 
times may come again. God may be preparing us for such fiery 
trials. But he had not yet dealt so with us. He that tempers the 
wind to the shorn lamb, and "who stnys his rough wind in the 
day of his east wind," has mingled mercy with judgment ; and 
even when he humbles us, gives us cause for praise. " Oh, that 
men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonder- 
ful works to the children of men." Another mark of his loving 
kindness to us is, his suffering me to pray for you. You remem- 
ber how the Apostles describe the w^ork of the ministry. Acts 
vi. 4. " We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the 
ministry of the Word." Now, God is my record that this has 
been my heart's desire ever since my coming among you. I have 
ahvays felt myself a debtor to you all, both to the wise and to the 
unwise, so as much as in me is I have been ready to preach the 
gospel unto you ; but God has for a time withdrawn me from that 
part of the work amongst you. To me that grace is not now 
given to preach among you the unsearchable riches of Christ. 
(Oh, how great a grace it is ! how W'onderful that it should ever 
have been given to me!) Still he allows me to give myself unto 
prayer. Perhaps this may be the chief reason of my exile from 
you, to teach me what Zechariah was taught in the vision of the 
golden candlestick and the two olive trees, Zech. iv. 6, that it is 
not by might, nor by power, but by His Spb-it, obtained in be- 
lieving, wrestling prayer, that the temple of God is to be built in 
our parishes. I have hanged my harp upon the willow, and am 
no more allow^ed '• to open to you dark sayings upon the harp," 
nor '* to sjieak of the things which I have made touching the 
King," who is "fairer than the children of men." Still my soul 
does not dwell in silence. J am permitted to go in secret to God, 
my exceeding joy ; and while meditating his praise, I can make 
mention of you all in my prayers, and give thanks for the little 
flocks, who, " by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, 
and honor, and immortality." " If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let 
my right hand forget her cunning ; if I do not remember thee, let 
my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not Jeru- 
salem above my chief joy." I feel it is another gift of grace, that 
I am suffered to write to you. You remember how often the 
Apostles cheered and strengthened the disciples, when absent 
from them, by writing to them.* What a precious legacy of the 

• 2 Cor. vii. 12. Gal. vi. 11. 1 Thcs. v. 27. Heb. xiii. 22. 1 Peter v. 12. 2 Pet. 
i. 12-15 i iii. 1. 1 John i. 4. Judc 3. 


Church in all ages have these Epistles been ! every verse, like 
a branch of the Tree of Life, bearing all manner of fruit, and the 
leaves for the healing of the nation. You remember how holy 
Samuel Rutherford, and many of our persecuted forefathers in 
the Church of Scotland, kept the flame of grace alive in their de- 
serted parishes by sending them words of counsel, warning, and 
encouragement, testifying, not face to face, but with ink and pen, 
the gospel of the grace of God. I do feel it a great privilege that 
this door is open to me, and that, even when absent, I can yet 
speak to you of the things pertaining to the kingdom. 

" This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you, in both 
which 1 stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance ; yea, I 
think it meet, so long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by 
putting you in remembrance." 

I. Abide in Him, little children, whom I have always preached 
unto you, that when he shall appear we may have confidence 
and not be ashamed before him at his coming. Let every new 
sight of your wicked heart, and every new wave of trouble, drive 
your soul to hide in him, the Rock of your Salvation. There is 
no true peace but in a present hold of the Lord, our Righteous- 

IL Enjoy the forgiveness of sins — keep yourselves in the love 
of God. If you abide in Christ, you shall abide in his love — your 
joy let no man take from you. " These things write we unto you 
that your joy may be full." 

in. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. " He that 
(saith he) abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as he 
walked," Ah, how many falls will I have to mourn over when I 
return, if God send me back to you — how many unseemly quar- 
rellings and miscarriages among you, that are God's own — how 
many unlovely tempers among those who foUo-w him who is alto- 
gether lovely ! Oh take heed, do not give the enemy cause to 
blaspheme ; naming the name of Christ, depart from all iniquity. 

IV. Continue in prayer. How many messages have been car- 
ried to you publicly and from house to house, and yet how little 
success ! I bless God for nil the tokens he has given us that the 
Spirit of God has not departed from the Church of Scotland — that 
the glory is still in the midst of her. Still the Spirit has never 
yet been shed on us abundantly. The many absentees on the 
forenoon of the Sabbaths — the thin meetings on Thursday eve- 
nings — the absence of men from all meetings for the worship of 
God — the few private prayer meetings — the little love and union 
among Christians — all show that the plentiful rain has not yet 
fallen to refresh our corner of the heritage. Why is this ? This 
is the day of Christ's power — why are the people not made wil- 
ling? Let James give the answer. "Ye have not because ye 
ask not." Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name. Ask and 
ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Finally, dear breth- 

VOLu I. 11 


ren, farewell. Day and night I long to come to you. but still God 
hinders me. Do not omit to praise him for all the great grace he 
has mingled in our cup of bitterness. " Seven times a day do I 
praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." When passing 
through the waters he has been with us, and in the rivers they 
have not overflowed us ; and, therefore, we may be sure that 
when we pass through the fire we shall not be burned, neither 
shall the flames kindle upon us. 

Now, may the God of peace himself give you peace always, by 
all means, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with youi 
spirits. Amen. 

How Qod works by proTidences. 

Edinburgh, Februaftj 13, 1839. 

To all of you, my dear friends and people, who are and shall 
ever be followers of the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth, your pas- 
tor again wishes grace and peace from God our Father, and the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

I long very much that this grace may again be given unto me 
to preach among you face to face " the unsearchable riches of 
Christ." " Oftentimes I purpose to come unto you, but am let 
hitherto." Still, I feel it a great privilege that, even in my retire- 
ment, I can send you a word to the end that you may be estab- 
lished. I feel as if one door was left open to me by the Lord. 
Believe me, it is the foremost desire of my heart that Christ may 
be glorified in you, both now and at his coming — that you may be 
a happy and a holy people, blessed and made a blessing. For the 
sake of variety, let me guide your thoughts to a passage, of God's 
own word, and there I will speak to you as if I were yet present 
with you, and half forget that you are not before me. 

In Job xxiii. 8-10, you will find these solemn words — "Behold, 
I go forward, but he is not there ; and backward, but I cannot 
perceive him ; on the left hand, where he doth wc>rk, but I cannot 
behold him ; he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot 
see him. But he knoweth the way that I take ; when he hath 
tried me I shall come forth as gold." 

You all know the afflictions which came upon Job. " He was 
a perfect and upright man," and the greatest of all the men o!' the 
east, yet he lost his oxen and his asses, his sheep and camels, and 
his ten chililren, in one day. Again, the breath of disease came 
upon him, and he sat down among the ashes. In all this Job sin- 
ned not with his lips. He blessed the hand that smote him — 
" What ! shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall 
we not receive ev 1." And yet, when his troubles were prolonged, 


he knew not what to think. Learn how weak the strongest be- 
liever is ; a bruised reed, without Christ, we are, and can do no- 
thing. When Job's brethren dealt deceitfully with him " as a 
brook" — when he felt God hedging him in, and God's arrows 
drinking up his spirit, then clouds and darkness rested on his path 
— he could not unravel God's dealings with his soul — then he 
cried, " Show me wherefore thou contendest with me !" He 
longed to get an explanation from God — '• Oh that I knew where 
I might find him ! that I might come even to his seat ! Behold, I 
go forward, but he is not there ; and backward, but I cannot per- 
ceive him ; on the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot 
behold him ; he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see 
him." You have here, then, in verses 8th and 9th, a child of light 
walking in darkness — an afflicted soul seeking, and seeking in 
vain, to know why God is contending with him. Dear friends, 
this is not an uncommon case ; even to some of you God's provi- 
dences often appear inexplicable. I hear that God has been at 
work among you, and " His way is in the sea." He has tried you 
in different ways ; some of you by the loss of your property, as he 
tried Job ; some of you by the loss of dear friends ; some by loss 
of health, so that " wearisome nights are appointed you ;" some 
by the loss of the esteem of friends — aye, even of Christians. 
" Your inward friends abhor you." Perhaps more than one trou- 
ble has come on you at a time — wave upon wave, thorn upon 
thorn. Before one wound was healed, another came — before the 
rain was well away " the clouds returned." You cannot explain 
God's dealings with you — you cannot get God to explain them — 
you have drawn the Saviour's blood and righteousness over your 
souls, and you know that the Father himself loveth you — you 
would like to meet him to ask, " Wherefore contendest thou with 
me ?" " Oh that I knew where I might find him !" My dear af- 
flicted brethren, this is no strange thing that has happened unto 
you. Almost every believer is at one time or another brought to 
feel this difficulty — " God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty 
troubleth me." Is it anger, or is it in pure love that he afflicts me ? 
Am I fleeing from the presence of the Lord, as Jonah fled ? What 
change would he have wrought in me ? If any of you are think- 
ing thus in your heart, pray over this word in Job. Remember 
the word in the xlvi. Psalm, " Be still, and know that I am God." 
God does many things to teach us that He is God, and to make us 
wait upon him. And, still farther, see in verse 10th what light 
breaks in upon our darkness — " But he knoweth the way that I 
take : when he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." 

Observe, Jirs^ " He knoweth the way that I take." What sweet 
comfoi't there is in these words — He that redeemed me — He that 
pities me as a father — He who is the only wise God — He whose 
name is love — " He knoweth the way that I take." 

The ungodly world do not know it — the world knoweth us not 


even as it knew him not. A stranger doth not intermeddle with the 
joys or sorrows of a child of God. When the world looks on your 
grief with unsympathizing eye, you feel very desolate. "Your 
soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those who are at 
ease." But why should you ? He that is greater than all the 
world is looking with the intensest interest upon all your steps. 

The most intimate friends do not know the way of an afflicted 
believer. Your spirit is lonely, even among God's children, for 
your way is hid, and the Lord hath hedged you in. Still, be of 
good cheer, the Father of all, the best of friends, knows all the 
way that you take. 

You do not know your own way. God has called you to suffer, 
and you go like Abraham, not knowing whither you go. Like 
Israel, going down into the Red Sea, every step is strange to you. 
Still, be of good cheer, suffer with Christ ! God marks your every 
step. " The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and 
he delighteth in his way." He that loves you with an infinite, un- 
changing love, is leading you by his Spirit and providence. He 
knows every stone, every thorn in your path. Jesus knows your 
way. Jesus is afflicted in all your afflictions. " Fear not, for I 
have redeemed thee. I have called thee by my name, thou art 
mine. When thou passest through the water I will be with thee, 
and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee. When thou 
walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the 
flame kindle upon thee." 

Second, " When he hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." 
This also is precious comfort. There will be an end of your af- 
fliction. Christians must have " great tribulation," but they come 
out of it. We must carry the cross, but only for a moment, then 
comes the crown. I remember one child of God's saying, that if 
it were God's will that she should remain in trials a thousand 
years, she could not but delight in his will. But this is not asked 
of us : we are only called " to sujfer a ivhile" There is a set time 
for putting into the furnace, and a set time for taking out of the 
furnace. There is a time for pruning the branches of the vine, 
and there is a time when the husbandman lays aside the pruning 
hook. Let us wait this time — " he that believeth shall not make 
haste." God's time is the best time. But shall we come out the 
same as we went in ? Ah ! no, " we shall come out like gold." 
It is this that sweetens the bitterest cup ; this brings a rainbow 
of promise over the darkest cloud. Affliction will certainly purify 
a believer. IIow boldly he says it, "I shall come out like gold." 
Ah, how much dross there is in every one of you, dear believers, 
and in your pastor ! " When I would do good evil is present with 
me." Oh, that all the dross may be left behind in the furnace ! 
What imperfection, what sin, mingles with all we have ever done ! 
But are we really fruit-bearing branches of the true vine ? then it 
is certain that when we are pruned we shall bear more fruit 


We shall come out like gold. We shine more purely as " a dia- 
dem in the hand of our God." We shall become purer vessels to 
hold the sweet smelling incense of praise and prayer. We shall 
become holy golden vessels for the Master's use in time and in 

To the many among you who have no part nor lot in Christ, I 
would say, " See here the happiness of being a Christian in time 
of trouble." It is no small joy to be able to sing the xlvi. Psalm 
in the dark and cloudy day. I have often told you, and now tell 
you when I am far from you, " we are journeying to the place of 
which the Lord hath said, ' I will give it you ;' come then with 
us, and we will do thee good, for God hath spoken good concern- 
ing Israel." 

Finally, Pray that your pastor may come out of his trials like 
gold. All is not gold that glitters. Pray that everything that is 
but glittering dross may be taken away, and that, if it be His will, 
I may come unto you like the fine gold of Ophir. " Continue in 
prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, withal praying 
also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to 
speak the mystery of Christ." 

My chief comfort concerning you is, that " my God shall supply 
all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." 
Brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one 
mind, live in peace, and the God of love and of peace shall be 
with you. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and 
the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 

God the answerer of prayer. 

Edinburgh, February 20, 1839. 

To all of you, my dear flock, who are chosen in Christ before 
the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame before 
him in love, your pastor again wishes grace and peace from God 
the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

There are many sweet providences happening to us every day, 
if we would but notice them. In the texts which ministers choose, 
what remarkable providences God often brings about ! I have 
often felt this, and never more than now. Some of you may re- 
member that the last chapter of the Bible which I read to you in 
the church was 1st Kings xix., where we are told of Elijah going 
away into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights to the 
mount of God, where he was taught that it is not by the wind, 
nor the earthquake, nor the fire, that God converts souls, but by 
the still small voice of the gospel. May not this have been gra- 


ciously intended to prepare us for what has happened ! Another 
providence some of you may have noticed. For several Thurs- 
day evenings before I left you I was engaged in explaining and 
enforcing the sweet duty of believing prayer. Has not God since 
taught us the use of these things ? — " Trials make the promise 
sweet" — " Trials give new life to prayer." Perhaps some of us 
were only receiving the information into the head ; is not God 
now impressing it on our hearts, and driving us to practice the 
things which we learned ? I do not remember all the points I 
was led to speak upon to you, but one, I think, was entirely 
omitted — I mean the subject of answers to prayer. God left it for 
us to meditate on noiv. Oh, there is nothing that I would have you 
to be more sure of than this, that " God hears and answers prayer." 
There never was, and never will be, a believing prayer left unan- 
swered. Meditate on this, and you will say, "I love the Lord be- 
cause he hath heard my voice and my supplication." Psalm cxvi. 1. 
First, God often gives the very thing his children ask at the 
very time they ask it. You remember Hannah, Samuel, i. 10, 
she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept 
sore. "Give unto thine handmaid a man child." This was her 
request. And so she went in peace, and the God of Israel heard 
and granted her her petition that she had asked of him ; and she 
called the child's name Samuel, that is, " Asked of God." Oh 
that you could write the same name upon all your gifts ! you 
would have far more joy in them, and far larger blessings along 
with them. You remember David, in Psalm cxxxviii. — "//i 
the day that I cried thou aneweredst me, and strengthenedst 
me with strength in my soul." You remember Elijah, 1 Kings 
xvii. 21 — "O Lord, my God! I pray thee let this child's soul 
come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, 
and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived." 
You remember Daniel, ix. 20, 21 — " While 1 ivas speaking, 
and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people 
Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my 
God for the boly mountain of my God ; yea, whiles / ivas speak- 
ing in prayer, even the man Gabriel, being caused to fly swiftly, 
touched me about the time of the evening oblation." Oh, what 
encouragement is here for those among you who, like Daniel, 
are greatly beloved — who study much in the books of God's 
word, and who set your face unto the Lord to seek by prayer 
gifts for the Church of God 1 Expect answers while you are 
speaking in prayer. Sometimes the vapors that ascend in the 
morning come down in copious showers in the evening. So may 
it be with your prayers. Take up the words of David, Psalm 
v. 3, " My voice shalt thou hear in the morning ; in the morning 
will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." You re- 
member, in Acts xii., Peter was cast into prison, "but prayer 
was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him." 


And, behold, the same night the answer surprised them at the 
door. Oh ! what surprises of goodness and grace God has in 
store for you and me, if only we pray without ceasing. If you 
will pray in union to Jesus, having childlike confidence towards 
God — having the spirit of adoption, crying Abba within you — 
seeking the glory of God more than all personal benefits, I be- 
lieve that in all such cases, you will get ihe very thing you ask, at 
the very time you ask it. Before you call God will hear, and 
while you are speaking he will answer. Oh, if there were 
twenty among you who would pray thus, and persevere therein 
like wrestling Jacob, you would get whatever you ask ! yea, the 
case of Daniel shows that the effectual fervent prayer of one 
such believer among you will avail much. " Delight thyself in 
the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart." 
Psalm xxxvii. 4. 

Second, God often delays the answer to prayer for wise reasons. 
The case of the Syrophenician woman will occur to you all, 
Matth. XV. 21 — 28. How anxiously she cried, " Have mercy on 
me, O Lord, thou Son of David. But Jesus answered her not a 
word." Again and again she prayed, and got no gracious an- 
swer. Her faith grows stronger by every refusal. She cried, 
she followed, she kneeled to him, till Jesus could refuse no longer. 
" O woman, great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou 
wilt." Dear praying people, " continue in prayer, and watch in 
the same with thanksgivings." Do not be silenced by one re- 
fusal. Jesus invites importunity by delaying to answer. Ask, 
seek, knock, " The promise may be long delayed, but cannot come 
too late." You remember, in the parable of the importunate 
widow, it is said, " Shall not God avenge his own elect, which 
cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them. 
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily." Luke xviii. 1 — 8. 
This shows how you, who are God's children, should pray. You 
should cry day and night unto God. This shows how God hears 
every one of your cries, in the busy hour of the day-time, and in 
the lonely watches of the night. He treasures them up from day 
to day : soon the full answer will come down. " He will an- 
swer speedily." The praying souls beneath the altar, in Rev. 
vi. 9 — 11, seem to show the same truth, that the answer to a be- 
liever's prayers may, in the adorable wisdom of God, be delayed 
for a little season, and that many of them may not be fully an- 
swered till after he is dead. Again, read that wonderful passage, 
Rev. viii. 3, where it is said that the Lord Jesus, the great inter- 
cessor with the Father, offers to God the incense of his merits, 
with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which is 
before the throne. Christ never loses one believing prayer. 
The prayers of every believer, from Abel to the present day, he 
heaps upon the altar, from which they are continually ascending 
before his Father and our Father ; and when the altar can hold 


no more, the full, the eternal answer will come down. Do not be 
discouraged, dearly beloved, because God bears long with you — 
because he does not seem to answer your prayers. Your pray- 
ers are not lost. When the merchant sends his ships to distant 
shores, he does not expect them to come back richly laden in a 
single day — he has long patience. " It is good that a man should 
both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." Per- 
haps your prayers will come back, like the ships of the mer- 
chant, all the more heavily laden with blessings, because of the 

T/iird, God often answers prayer by terrible things. So David 
says, in Psalm Ixv., "By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou 
answer us, O God of our salvation." And all of you who are 
God's children have found it true. Some of you have expe- 
rienced what John Newton did when he wrote that beautiful 
hymn, " J asked the Lord that I might grow."* You prayed with 
all your heart, " Lord, increase my faith." In answer to this, 
God has shown you the misery of your connection with Adam. 
He has revealed the hell that is in your heart. You are amazed, 
confounded, abashed. You c)-y, " Oh wretched man that 1 am, 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death V You cleave 
to a Saviour God with a thousand times greater anxiety. Your 
faith is increased. Your prayer is answered by terrible things. 
Some of us prayed for a praying spirit, " Lord, teach us to pray." 
God has laid affliction upon us. Waves and billows go over us. 
We cry out of the depths. Being afflicted, we pray. He has 
granted our heart's desire. Our prayer is answered by terrible 

Foiirth, God sometimes answers prayer by giving something 
better than we ask. An affectionate father on earth often does 
this. The child says, Father, give me this fruit. No, my child 
(the fiither replies), but here is bread, which is better for you. 
So the Lord Jesus dealt with his beloved Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 7 — 9. 
There was given to Paul a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Sa- 
tan to bullet him. In bitterness of heart he cried, " Lord, let this 
depart from me." No answer came. Again he prayed the same 
words. No answer still. A third time he knelt, and now the an- 
swer came, not as he expected. The thorn is not plucked away 
— the messenger of Satan is not driven back to hell ; but Jesus 
opens wide his more loving breast, and says, •' My grace is suffi- 
cient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Oh 
this is something exceeding abundant above all that he asked, and 
all that he thought. Ah, this is something better than he asked, 
and better than he thought. S irely God is able to do " exceed- 
ing abundantly above all that we ask or think." Ephes. iii. 20. 
Dear praying believers, be of good cheer. God will either give 
you what ) on ask, or something far better. Are you not quite 
* Olucy Hymns, book iii. liymu 36. 

LETTERS.. 169 

willing that he should choose for you and me ? You remember 
that even Jesus prayed, " Oh, my Father, if it be possible, let this 
cup pass from me." That desire was not granted, but there ap- 
peared unto him an angel from heaven strengthening him. Luke 
xxii. 43. He received what was far better, strength to drink the 
cup of vengeance. Some of you, my dear believing flock, have 
been praying, that, if it be God's will, I might be speedily restored 
to you, that God's name might be glorified ; and I have been 
praying the same. Do not be surprised if he should answer our 
prayers by giving us something above what we imagined. Per- 
haps he may glorify himself by us in another way than we thought. 
" Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge 
of God ! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out ! For of him, and through him, and to him, are 
all things. To whom be glory forever. Amen." 

These things I have written that you may come boldly to the 
throne of grace. The Lord make you a praying people. " Strive 
together with me in your prayers to God for me." " I thank my 
God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of 
mine for you all, making request with joy." 

Now, the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like- 
minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus. " The 
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing ;" and 
the God of peace be with you all. Amen. 

What God has done, and the returns made. — Isaiah t. 4. 

Edinburgh, February 27, 1839. 

To all of you, my dear flock, who are washed, and sanctified, 
and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of 
our God, your pastor again wishes grace, mercy, and peace. 

This is now the fifth time I am permitted by God to write to 
you. If you are not wearied, it is pleasant and refreshing to me. 
I wish to be like Epaphras, Coloss. iv. 12 — " Always laboring 
feryently for you in prayer, that you may stand perfect and com- 
plete in all the will of God." When I am hindered by God from 
laboring for you in any other way, it is my heart's joy to labor for 
you thus. When Dr. Scott of Greenock, a good and holy minis- 
ter, was laid aside by old age from preaching for some years be- 
fore his death, he used to say — " I can do nothing for my people 
now but pray for them, and sometimes I feel that I can do that." 
This is what I also love to feel. Often I am like Amelia Geddie, 
who lived in the time of the Covenanters, and of whom I used to 
tell you. The great part of my time is taken up with bringing 
my heart into tune for prayer ; but when the blessed Spirit does 


help my infirmities, it is my greatest joy to lay myself and you, 
my flock, in his hand, and to pray that God may yet make '• the 
vine to flourish and the pomegranate to bud." 

If you turn to Isaiah v. 4, you will find these affecting words — 
" What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have 
not done in it ? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring 
fortli grapes, brought it forth wild grapes." 

Consider these words, my dear people, and may the Spirit 
breathe over them that they may savingly impress your souls. 
These words are God's pathetic lamentation over his ancient 
people, when he thought of all that he had done for them, and of 
the sad return which they made to him. We have come into the 
place of Israel ; the natural branches of the good olive tree have 
been broken oflf, and we have been grafted in. All the advan- 
tages God gave to Israel are now enjoyed by us ; and ah ! has 
not God occasion to take up the same lamentation over us, that 
we have brought forth only wild grapes? I would wish every 
one of you seriously to consider what more God could have done 
to save your soul that he has not done. But, ah ! consider again 
whether you have borne grapes, or only wild grapes. 

First, Consider how much God has done to save your souls. 
He has provided a great Saviour, and a great salvation. He did 
not give man or angel, but the Creator of all, to be the substitute 
of sinners. His blood is precious blood. His righteousness is the 
righteousness of God; and now "to him that worketh not. but 
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted to 
him for righteousness," Romans iv. 5. Most precious word ! 
Give up your toil, self-justifying soul. You have gone from moun- 
tain to hill — you have forgotten your resting-place — change your 
plan. Work not, but believe on him that justifieth the ungodly. 
Believe the I'ecord that God hath given concerning his son. A 
glorious, all perfect, all divine surety is laid down at your feet. 
He is within your reach — he is nigh thee — take him and live ; re- 
fuse him and perish ! " What could have been done more for my 
vmeyard, that I have not done in it ?" 

Second, Again, consider the ordinances God has given you. 
He has made you into a vineyard. Scotland is the likest of all 
lands to God's ancient Israel. How wonderfully has God planted 
and maintained godly ministers in his land, from the time of Knox 
to the present day ! He has divided the whole land into parishes ; 
even on tlie barren hills of our country he has planted the choicest 
vine. Hundreds of godly laborers he has sent to gather out the 
stones of it. God has done this for you also. He has built a 
tower in the midst of you. Have you not seen his own hand 
fencing you round — building a gospel tower in the midst of you, 
and a gospel vine-press therein ? And has he not sent me among 
you, who am less than the least of all the members of Christ, and 
yet " determined not to know anything among you save Jesus 


Christ and him crucified ?" Has not the Spirit of God been some- 
times present in our sanctuary — have not some hearts been filled 
there with gladness more than in the time that their corn and 
wine increased ? Have not some hearts tasted there the " love 
that is better than wine?"* "What could have been done more 
for my vineyard that I have not done in it ?" Now, let me ask, 
what fruit have we borne — grapes or wild grapes ? Ah ! I fear 
the most can show nothing but wild grapes. If God looks down 
upon us as a parish, what does he see ? Are there not still a 
thousand souls utter strangers to the house of God ? How many 
does his holy eye now rest upon who are seldom in the house of 
prayer, who neglect it in the forenoon 1 How many who frequent 
the tavern on the Sabbath-day ? Oh ! why do they bring forth 
wild grapes 1 If God looks upon you as families, what does he 
see ? How many prayerless families ? How often, as I passed 
your windows, late at eve or at early dawn, have I listened for 
the melody of psalms, and listened all in vain ? God also has 
listened, but still in vain. How many careless parents does his 
pure eye see among you, who will one day, if you turn not, meet 
your neglected children in an eternal hell? How many undutiful 
children ? How many unfaithful servants ? Ah ! why such a 
vineyard of wild grapes ? If God looks on you as individual 
souls, how many does he see that were never awakened to real 
concern about your souls ? How many that never shed a tear 
for your perishing soul ? How many that were never driven to 
pray 1 How many that know not what it is to bend the knee ? 
How many that have no uptaking of Christ, and are yet cold- 
hearted and at ease ? How many does God know among you 
that have never laid hold of the only sure covenant 1 How many 
that have no " peace in believing," and yet cry, " peace, peace, 
when there is no peace?" Jer. viii. 11. How many does God 
see among you who have no change of heart and life, who are 
given up to the sins of the flesh and of the mind ? and yet you 
"bless yourself in your heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I 
walk in the imagination of my heart, to add drunkenness to thirst." 
Deut. xxix. 19. Ah ! why do you thus bring forth wild grapes? 
" Your vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomor- 
rah : your grapes are grapes of gall : your clusters are bitter." 
Deut. xxxii. 32. Ah ! remember you will blame yourselves to all 
eternity for your own undoing. God washes his hands of your 
destruction. What could have been done more for you that God 
has not done ? I take you all to record this day, if I should never 
speak to you again, that I am pure from the blood of you all. O 
barren fig-trees, planted in God's vineyard, the Lord has been 
digging at your roots ; and if ye bear fruit, well ; if not, then ye 
shall be cut down ! Luke xiii. 6-9. 

Now, I turn for a moment to you who are God's children. I 
am persuaded better things of you, my dearly beloved, and things 


that accompany salvation, thougli I thus speak. Yet, what need 
is there in these trying times, to search your heart and Yik, and 
ask, what fruit does God find in me 1 

What fruit of self-ahasement is there in you ? Have you found 
out the evil of your connection with the first Adam? Rom. v. 19. 
Do you know the plagues of your own heart? 1 Kings viii. 38. 
The hell of corruption that is there ? Jer. xvii. 9. Do you feel 
you have never lived one moment to his glory ? Rom. iii. 25. Do 
you feel that to all eternity you can never be justified by anything 
in yourself? Rev. vii. 14. 

Consider, again, what fruit there is of believing, in you. Have 
you really and fully uptaken Christ as the gospel lays him down ? 
John V. 12. Do you cleave to him as a sinner? 1 Tim. i. 15. Do 
you count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge 
of him ? Mat. ix. 9. Do you feel the glory of his person ? Rev. 
i. 17. His finished work? Heb. ix. 2G. His oflices? 1 Cor. i. 30. 
Does he shine like the sun into your soul ? Mai. iv. 2. Is your 
heart ravished with his beauty? Song v. 10. 

Again : what fruit is there in you of crying after fioUness ? Is 
this the one thing you do ? Phil. iii. 13. Do you spend your life 
in cries for dehverance from this body of sin and death ? Rom. 
vii. 24. Ah! I fear there is little of this. The most of God's 
people are contented to be saved from the hell that is without. 
They are not so anxious to be saved from the hell that is within. 
I fear there is little feeling of your need of the indwelling Spirit. 
I fear you do not know "the exceeding greatness of his power" 
to usvvard who believe. I fear many of you are strangers to the 
visits of the Comforter. God has reason to complain of you, 
" wherefore should they bring forth wild grapes ?" 

Again : what fruit is there of actual likeness to God in you ? 
Do you love to be much with God? " To climb up near to God 
— Genesis v. 22 — to love, and long, and plead, and wrestle, and 
stretch after him ?"* Are you weaned from the world ? — Psalm 
cxxxi. — from its praise — from its hatred — from its scorn ? Do 
you give yourselves clean away to God — 2 Cor. viii. 5. — and all 
that is yours ? Are you willing that your will should be lost in 
his great will ? Do you throw yourselves into the arms of God 
for time and for eternity ? Oh, search your hearts and try them, 
ask God to do it for you, and " to lead you in the way everlast- 
ing !" Psa. cxxxix. 23, 24. 

I am deeply afraid that many of us may be like the fig-tree by 
the wayside, on which the hungry Saviour expected to find fruit 
and he found none. Ah ! we have been an ungrateful vine, min- 
ister and people ! What more could God have done for us ? Sun- 
shine and shade — rain and wind — have all been given us; good- 
ness and severity have both been tried with us — yet what has been 
returned to him ? Whether have the curses or the praises been 
♦ See Braiuerd's Diary, Part ii., April 4 


louder rising from our parish to heaven ? Whether does our par- 
ish more resemble the garden of the Lord, or the howhng wilder- 
ness 1 Whether is there more of the perpetual incense of believ- 
ing prayer, or the " smoke in God's nose" of hypocrisy and broken 
sacraments ? 

" I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons 
I warn you." If there be some among you, and some there are, 
who are growing up like the lily, casting forth their roots like 
Lebanon, and bearing fruit with patience, remember " the Lord 
loveth the righteous." He that telleth the number of the stars 
taketh pleasure in you ; " the Lord taketh pleasure in his people ; 
he will beautify the meek with salvation." Keep yourselves in 
the love of God. Go carefully through all the steps of your effec- 
tual calling a second time. 

The Lord give you daily faith. Seek to have a large heart. 
Pray for me, that a door of utterance may be opened to me. Re- 
member my bonds. Pray that I may utterly renounce myself, 
that I may be willing to do, and to suffer, all his will up to the 
latest breath. 

May you all obtain mercy of the Lord now, and in that day to 
which we are hastening. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with 
your spirits. Amen. 


Self-devotedness — what it ought to be. 

Edinburgh, March 6, 1839. 

To all my dear flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made 
me overseer — to all of you who are of the Church of God, which 
he hath purchased with his own blood — your pastor wishes grace, 
mercy, and peace. 

I thank my God without ceasing that ever I was ordained over 
ou in the Lord. For every shower of the Spirit that ever has 
oeen shed upon us — for every soul among you that has ever been 
added to the Church — for every disciple among you whose soul 
has been confirmed during our ministry, T will praise God eter- 
nally. May this letter be blessed to you by the breathing of the 
Holy Spirit ! May it teach you and me more than ever that we 
" are not our own, but bought with a price." 

The most striking example of self-devotedness in the cause of 
Christ of which I ever heard in these days of deadness, was told 
here last week by an English minister. It has never been print- 
ed, and therefore I will relate it to you, just as I heard it, to stir 
up our cold hearts, that we may give our own selves unto the Lord. 

The awful disease of leprosy still exists in Africa. Whether 
it be the same leprosy as that mentioned in the Bible I do not 


know, but it is regarded as perfectly incurable, and so infectious 
that no one dares to come near the leper. In the soutli of Africa 
there is a large lazar-house lor lepers. It is an immense space, 
enclosed by a very high wall, and containing fields, which the 
lepers cultivate, "there is only one entrance, which is strictly 
guarded. Whenever any one is found with the marks of leprosy 
upon him, he is brought to this gate and obliged to enter in, never 
to return. No one who enters in by that awful gate is ever 
allowed to come out again. Within this nbode of misery there 
are multitudes of lepers in all stages of the disease. Dr. Hal- 
beck, a missionary of the Church of England, from the top of a 
neighboring hill saw them at work. He noticed two particularly, 
sowing peas in the field. The one had no hands, the other had 
no feci — these members being wasted away by disease. The one 
who wanted the hands was carrying the other who wanted the 
feet upon his back, and he again carried in his hands the bag of 
seed, and dropped a pea every now and then, which the other 
pressed into the ground with his foot — and so they managed the 
work of one man between the two. Ah ! how little we know 
of the misery that is in the world. Such is this prison-house of 
disease. But you will ask, who cares for the souls of the hapless 
inmates ? Who will venture to enter in at this dreadful gate, 
never to return again ? Who will forsake father and mother, 
houses and land, to carry the message of a Saviour to these poor 
lepers ? Two Moravian missionaries, impelled by a divine love 
for souls, have chosen the lazar-house as their field of labor. They 
entered it never to come out again ; and I am told that as soon as 
these die other Moravians are quite ready to fill their place. Ah 1 
my dear friends, may we not blush, and be ashamed before God, 
that we, redeemed with the same blood, and taught by the same 
Spirit, should yet be so unlike these men in vehement, heart-con- 
suming love to Jesus and the souls of men. 

I wish now to mention to you a proposal which deeply involves 
the happiness of you and me, and of which I believe most of 
you have already heard something. Oh ! that you would trace 
the Lord's hand in it. Oh ! that " you would be still, and know 
that He is God." Let me go over some of the ways by which 
God has led us hitherto. When I came to you at the first it was 
not of my seeking. I never had been in your town, and knew 
only one family in it. I did not ask to be made a candidate. I 
was quite happy where I was laboring in the Lord's work. God 
turned your hearts to ask me to settle among you. It was the 
Lord's doing. Since that day " ye know after what manner I 
have l)een with you at all seasons," and how, as far as God gave 
me light and strength, " I have kept nothing back that was pro- 
fitable unto you, but have showed you, and liave taught you juib- 
ficly, and from house to house." Ye know also, some of you in 
your blessed experience, that God has given testimony to the 


word of his grace, so that " our gospel came not to you in word 
only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assu- 

It is indeed amazing how God should have blessed the word 
when there was so much weakness and so much sin. But " who 
is a God like unto our God, that pardoneth iniquity, and passes by 
I he transgressions of the remnant of his heritage." We planted 
and watered, and God gave ihe increase. Ye are God's hus- 
bandry — ye are God's building. To him be the glory. 

You know also that I have had some painful trials among you. 
The state of the mass of unconverted souls among you has often 
made my heart bleed in secret. The coldness and worldliness of 
you who are God's children has often damped me. The impossi- 
bility of fully doing the work of a minister of Christ, among so 
many souls, was a sad burden to me. The turning back of some 
that once cared for then' souls pierced my heart with new sor- 
rows. Still I have had two years of great joy among you — un- 
speakable joy — in seeing souls added to the Church of such as 
shall be saved. I may never be honored to preach again, yet 
still to all eternity I shall praise God that he sent me to you — 
" For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? Are not 
even ye in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 
For ye are our glory and joy." 1 Thessal. ii. 19, 20. And should 
I lightly break up such a connection as this ? Ah, no ! My dear 
friends, I do not need all your affectionate letters to persuade me, 
that, if it were the Lord's will, my own vineyard is the happiest 
place in the world for me to be. Again and again other vine- 
yards were offered to me, and I was asked to leave you ; but I 
never for a moment listened to one of them, for ye were the seal 
of my ministry ; and where could I be happier than where the 
Lord had blessed me, and was still blessing me ? But God sent 
another message to me. He laid a heavy hand upon my body; 
I long struggled against it, but it was too much for me. For two 
months I have been an exile from you, and I have felt all the time 
like a widower, or like Jacob bereaved of his children. My con- 
stant prayer was, that I might be restored to you, and to the 
Lord's service. You prayed the same, and when it was not an- 
swered, I cried, " Wherefore contendest thou with me ?" That 
woj'd was sent in answer — " My son, despise not thou the chas- 
tening of the Lord, neither be weary of his correction." Prov. iii. 
1 1. GoQ seems plainly to shut the door against my returning to 
you at present. I am greatly better, yet still I am forbidden to 
preach. I am not even allowed to conduct the family devotions 
morning and evening; indeed, whenever I exert myself much in 

conversation, I soon feel the monitor within warning me how frail 
r ^ 

I am. 

In these circumstances, the General Assembly's Committee on 

the Jews have this day resolved that your pastor, accompanied 


by Dr. Black of Aberdeen, and my beloved fiiend, Andrew 
Bonar of Col lace,* should travel for the next sjx months, to 
make personal inquiry after the lost sheep of the House o( Israel. 

They propose that we should go without delay to the Holy 
Land-that we should then return by Smyrna, Constantinople, 
Poland. Germany, and Holland. Now, I did not seek this appoint- 
ment — I never dreamed of such a thing. " But he that hath the 
key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth 
and no m:in openeth." he has thrown open this door to me, while 
he keeps the door of return to you still shut. My medical men 
are agreed that it is the likeliest method of restoring my broken 
health, and that I have strength enough for the journey. You 
know how my heart is engaged in the cause of Israel, and how 
the very sight of Immanuel's Innd will revive my fainting spirit. 
And if it be the will of God, I shall return to you, my beloved flock, 
to tell you all that I have seen, and to lead you in the way to the 
Jerusalem that is above. 

I cannot tell you how many providences have bo'^n sent to me, 
every one convincing me, that it is God's will and purpose I 
should go. 

The most cheering one to me is, that a young man has nearly 
consented to fill my place, and feed your souls during my absence, 
who is everything I could wish, and who will make you almost 
forget that you want your own pastor. Nay, whatever happens, 
I hope you will never forget me, but remember me in your 
families, and remember me in your secret prayers. You are 
all graven on my heart — I never can forget you. How won- 
derful have been God's dealings with us ! For many reasons 
he has sent this affliction on us — for sin in me, for sin in you ; 
but also, I am persuaded, that he might seek after " the dearly 
beloved of his soul," that are now in the hand of their enemies. 
His way is in the sea — his name is wonderful. I grieve to 
write so much about myself. I had far rather speak to you of 
" Him who is fairer than the children of men." May you look 
beyond all ministers to Him — may he be your guide even unto 
death ! Once again I hope to write before I leave my home and 
my country. Till then, may all grace abound toward you, and 
peace be upon Israel. Amen. 


Unexpected calls to labor— Parting counsels to belieTen. 

Edinburgh, March 13, 1839. 

To all of you who are my brethren, and my companions in 
tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, your pastor wishes, grace, mercy, and peace. 

* The Rev. Dr. Keith of St. Cyrus had not at that time joined the Deputation. 


It gives me great joy to address you once more ; and if I could 
only grave on your heart some of those words which make wise 
unto salvation, my time and labor would be amply repaid. The 
providences of every day convince me that 1 have followed not 
my own will, but God's, in leaving you for a time. If the Lord 
permit, I shall come to you again, and, I trust, more fully 
taught by the Spirit — a holier, happier, and a more useful minis- 
ter. I did not know when I last preached to you that I was to 
be so long parted from you ; and though I felt a solemn tender- 
ness stealing over my soul which I could not well account for, 
and eternity seemed very near, and your souls seemed very pre- 
cious, yet the Lord was " leading the blind by a way which we 
knew not." I have been searching God's Word to find examples 
of this, and I find them very many. 

You remember Abraham, how he was living quietly in his 
father's house, in Ur of the Chaldees, when the Lord appeared to 
him, and said, " Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kin- 
dred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show 
thee." Gen. xii. 1. And he went out, not knowing whither he 
went. You remember Jacob ; his mother said unto him, " Arise, 
flee thou to Labari my brother, to Haran, and tarry with him a 
few days." But the Lord meant it otherwise ; and it was twenty 
years before Jacob came back again. Gen. xxvii. 43. You re- 
member Joseph ; his father sent him a message to his brethren. 
Gen. xxxvii. 14. " Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well 
with thy brethren, and well with the flocks, and bring me word 
again." He expected to see him return in a fev/ days ; but God 
had another purpose with him. It was more than twenty years be- 
fore he saw the face of Joseph again ; till he said, " It is enough, 
Joseph, m)' son, is yet alive ; I will go and see him before I die." 

You will find the same method of dealing in the New Testa- 
ment. How little Peter knew that morning when he went up to 
the house-top to pray, that he was that very day to be sent away 
to open the door of faith to the Gentiles, Acts x. 9 ; and yet God 
said to him, " Arise, get thee down, and go with them, nothing 
doubting," verse 20. Again, you remember Barnabas and Saul, 
how happily they were engaged with the brethren at Antioch 
ministering to the Lord and fasting. Little did they think that 
the next day they would be sailing away to carry the gospel to 
other lands. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy 
Ghost said, " Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work where- 
unto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, 
and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." Acts xiii. 
2, 13. 

Once more, when Paul had preached the jTOspel in all the cities 
of Asia, and was come to Troas, on the sea-ooast, how little did 
he think that night when he laid his head upon his pillow, that, 
by the next day morning, the swift ship would be carrying him 

VOL. I. 12 


across the seas, to bear the message of salvation to another con- 
tinent. " A vision appeared to Paul in the night : There stood a 
man of Macedonia and prayed liim, saying, Come over into 
INIacedonia and lielp us. And after he had seen the vision, im- 
mechately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gather- 
ing that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto 
them." Acts xvi. 0, 10. 

Now, has not God dealt with us in a similar manner? Al- 
though we are nothing in ourselves but evil and hell-deserving 
creatures ; yet, when accepted in the Beloved, God cares for us. 
Oh ! we err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, 
when we think that God is indifterent to the least of all that are 
in Clu-ist. We are fastened on the Redeemer's shoulder. We 
are graven on his breastplate, and that is on the Redeemer's 
heiirt. Surely he hath directed our steps. "O the depth of the 
riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God." In other 
circumstances, I suppose, I would not have listened to this pro- 
posal. I could not have torn myself away had I been in strength 
and usefulness among you, and indeed the expedition probably 
would never have been thought of 

But God, who chose Israel to be his peculiar treasure, can 
easily open up ways when his set time is come. I parted from 
you only for Q.few days ; but God meant otherwise, and he will 
make it his own fixed lime. And now, behold I know that there 
are some of you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom 
of God, who " shall see my face no more." " He that keepeth 
Israel" may preserve your pastor under his almighty feathers. I 
know you will pi-ay for me, as you have done in secret, and in 
your families, and in your meeting for prayer, " that the sun may 
not smite me by day, nor the moon by night ;" but, if I should 
come back again, will I find you all where 1 left you ? Alas ! I 
know it cannot be so, "For what is your life? It is even a 
vapor ?" and God is still crying, " Return, return, ye children 
of men." 

For some among you, I give thanks unto the Father that he 
hath made you meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
saints in light. Col. i. 12. There are some among you from 
whom I have learned more than I taught you, " who have been 
succorers of many, and of myself also," Rom. xvi. 2, and who 
have often reminded me of corn, when it was fully ripe. Shall 
we be sur|)rised if the Son of Man puts in the sickle ? Rev. xiv. 
13, 16. Dear advanced believers, we may never meet again. I 
feel it almost wrong to pray that ye may be kept to comfort us on 
our return. It is w rong to grudge you " an entrance into jierfect 
day," where you shall lay aside tliat body of death and sin which 
is your greatest grief; yet may the Lord spare you, and bless 
you, and make you a blessing, that ye may bear fruit in old age. 
Oh, fill up the little inch of time that remains to his glory ; walk 

LETTER3. 179 

with God ; live for God. Oh, that every thought, and v^rord, and 
action, might be in his favor, and to his praise. The Lord grant 
that we may meet again here, and with you be refreshed ; but, if 
not, may we meet " where we shall walk with Christ in white." 
God, who knows my heart, knows it would be a hell to me to 
spend an eternity with unconverted Christless souls ; but to be 
with Christ and his people is heaven to me, wherever it is. There 
are many young believers among you, whom I may never meet 
again. It is hard to think of parting with you ; the mother feels 
it hard to part with the sucking child. It was my highest delight 
in this world to see you growing day by day — to see your sense 
of the plague of your own heart deepening — to see you cleaving 
to Christ, with full purpose of heart — to see your " peace widening 
hke a river," and to see your love burning higher and higher to- 
ward the Throne of God. You are in my heart to live and to 
die with me. Still, He who at any time fed you by me, can as 
easily feed you by another. I commend you to the Lord, on 
whom you believe. Read 2d Peter iii. 17, meditate over it, pray 
over it ; beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the 
wicked, fall from your own steadlastness ; but grow in grace. 

The only way to be kept from fallins^ is to grow. If you 
stand still you will fall. Read Prov! xi. 28, " the righteous shall 
flourish as a branch." Remember you are not a tree, that can 
stand alone ; you are only " a branch," and it is only while you 
abide in Him, as a branch, that you will flourish. Keep clear 
your sense of justification ; remember it is not your own natural 
goodness, nor your tears, nor your sanctification, that will justify 
you before God. It is Christ's sufferings and obedience alone. . 
Seek to be made holier every day — pray, strive, wrestle, for the 
Spirit, to make you like God. Be as much as you can with God. 
I declare to you that I had rather be one hour with God, than a 
thousand with the sweetest society on earth or in heaven. All 
other joys are but streams : God is the fountain — " all my springs 
are in thee." Now, may the blessings that are on the head of the 
just be on your head. Be faithful unto death, and Christ will give 
you a crown of life ; and if I never meet you again in this world, 
may I meet you as " pillars in the house of my God," where " you 
shall go no more out." Pray for me when you have access to the 
Throne — when you have a heart for it. I will try and pray for 
you, that ye may endure to the end. I have a word more for 
those of you that are still unconverted, whom I may never see 
again in the flesh. My heart bleeds to think of parting with you ; 
but I must defer this to my next letter, for I expect to write you 
again before I go. Farewell for the present, and may the grace 
^^ the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits. Amen. 


Warnings to the unsaved — Causes wby bo many among us are unsared. 

Edinbukgh, March 20, 1S30. 

To all of you, my dear flock, who are dearly beloved and 
longed i'or, my joy and crown, your pastor wishes grace, mercy, 
and peace, from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. 

In my last letter I showed you, that, in all human probability, 
there are many of you to whom I have preached the gospel of 
salvation, to whom I shall never preach it again face to face. I 
cannot be blind to the many dangers that accompany foreign tra- 
vel — the diseases and accidents to which we shall be exposed ; but 
if, through your prayers, I be given to you again, how many 
blanks shall I find in my flock ? How many dear children of 
God gone to be " where the weary are at rest," where the imper- 
fect " are made perfect ?" How many of you that have stood out 
against all the invitations of Christ, and all the warnings of God, 
shall I hud departed, to give in your account before the throne ? 
It is to these last I wish now to speak. For two years I have 
testified to you the gospel of the grace of God. I came to you in 
" weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling ;" and if the case 
of the children of God, and of backsliding souls, has often lain 
heavy at my heart, I can truly say that your dreadful condition 
" settled like wine upon her lees," when you are about to be 
" turned upside down, as a man tunieth a dish and wijieth it," has 
been a continued anxiety to me ; and sometimes, when I have 
had glimpses of the reality of eternal things, it has been an un- 
supportable agony to my spirit. I know well that this is a jest to 
you— ^that you care not whether ministers go or stay ; and if you 
gii a short sermon on the Sabbath-day that will soothe and not 
prick your conscience, that is all you care for. Still, it may be, 
the Lord who opened Manasseh's heart, will open yours, while I 
go over solemnly, in the sight of God, what appear to be the chief 
reasons why, after my two years, ministry among you, there are 
slill so many unconverted, perishing souls. 

07ie cause is to be sought in t/our minister. In Malachi ii. 6, 
you will find a sweet description of a Hiithful and successful min- 
ister — "The law of truth was in his mouth, and inicjuity was not 
found in his lips : he walked with me in peace and equity, and 
did turn many away from iniquity." Tliat is what me should 
have done ; but the lurnace brings out the dross, and afflictions 
discover defects unknown before. Oh, that I could say with Paul 
— **■ That I have been with you at all seasons serving the Lord 
with all humility of mind, and with many tears." Ye are witnes- 
ses, and God also, " how holily, and justly, and unblameably, we 
behaved ourselves among you that believe." I am indeed amazed 
that the ministry of such a woim as I am, should ever have been 


blessed among you at all ; and I do this day bewail before God 
every sin in my heart and life, that has kept back the light from 
your poor dark souls. Oh, you that can pray, pray that I may 
come back a holy minister — a shepherd not to lead the flock by 
the voice only, but to walk before them in the way of life. Look- 
ing back over my pulpit-work, alas ! I see innumerable deficien- 
cies. I always prayed that I might " not keep back anything that 
was profitable"— that I might not shun to declare the whole counsel 
of God — " that I might decrease, and Christ increase." Still, alas ! 
alas ! how dimly I have seen, and set before you " the truth as it 
is in Jesus." How coldly have I pleaded with you to " save your- 
selves from this untoward generation !" How many things I have 
known among you " beside Christ and him crucified !" How often 
have I preached myself, and not the Saviour ! How little I have 
" expounded to you in all the Scriptures the things concerning 
Jesus 1" One error more has been in my private labors among 
you. How much fruitless intercourse have I had with you ! I 
have not been like a shepherd crying after the lost sheep, nor like 
Q. physician among dying men, nor like a servant bidding you to 
the marriage, nor like one plucking brands from the burning ! 
How often have I gone to your houses to try and win your souls, 
and you have put me off with a little worldly talk, and the words 
of salvation have died upon my lips ! I dared not tell you you 
were perishing— -I dared not to show you plainly of the Saviour. 
How often I have sat at some of your tables, and my heart yearned 
for your souls, yet a false shame kept me silent ! How often I 
have gone home crying bitterly, " Free me from blood-guiltiness, 

God, thou God of my salvation." 

1 turn now to the causes in ijou, dear children of God. You 
also have hindered in great measure God's work "in the parish. 
First, by your want of holiness. " Ye are the light of the world." 

1 have often told you that a work of revival in any place almost 
always begins with the children of God. God pours water first 
on " him that is thirsty," and then on the dry ground. But how 
little has " the word of the Lord sounded out from you !" I do not 
mean that you should have been loud talkers about religious 
thmgs. " In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, and 
the talk of the lips leadeth to penury." But you should have been 
" hving epistles, known and read of all men." You know that a 
lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without 
noise— yet " it giveth light to all that are within the house." So, 
if you had day by day the blood of Christ upon your conscience- 
walking a forgiven and adopted child of God— having a calm 
peace in your bosom, and a heavenly hope in your eye — having 
the Holy Spirit filling you with a sweet, tender, chaste, compas- 
sionate, forgiving love to all the world— O ! had you shone thus 
tor two years back, how many of your friends and neighbor? that 
are going down to hell might have been saying this day, " Thv 


people shall be my people, and thy God my God." Think, my 
beloved friends, that every actof unholiness, of conformity to the 
world, of selfishness, of whispering and backbiting, is hindering 
the work of God in the parish, and ruining soids eternally. And 
what shall I say to those of you who, instead of emitting the sweet 
winning light of holiness, have given out only rays of darkness. 
" I have this against thee, that thou hast left thy first love. Re- 
member, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and 
do thy first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will 
remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." 

Second — You have hindered God's uwrk by your want of 
prayer. When God gives grace to souls, it is in answer to the 
prayers of his children. You will see this, on the Day of Pente- 
cost, Acts ii. Ezek. xxxvii. 9 shows, that in answer to the prayer 
of a single child of God, God will give grace to a whole valley 
full of dry and prayerless bones. Where God puts it into the 
heart of his children to pray, it is certain that he is going to pour 
down his Spirit in abundance. Now, where have been your 
prayers, O children of God ? The salvation of those around you 
depends on your asking, and yet " hitherto ye have asked nothing 
in Christ's name." Ye that are the Lord's remembrancers keep 
not silence, and give him no rest. Alas ! you have given God 
much rest — you have allowed his hand to remain unplucked out 
of his bosom. It is said of John Welsh, minister of Ayr, that he 
used always to sleep with a plaid upon his bed, that he might 
wrap it around him when he arose in the night to pray. He used 
to spend whole nights in wrestling with God for Zion, and for the 
purity of the Church of Scotland ; and he wondered how Chris- 
tians could lie all night in bed without rising to pray. Oh ! we 
have few Welshes now, therefore our Church is so dim, and our 
land a barren wilderness. Dear Christians, I often think it strange 
that ever we should be in heaven, and so many in hell through 
our soul-destroying carelessness. The good Lord pardon the 
past, and stir you up for the future. I learn that you are more 
stirred up to pray since I left, both in secret and unitedly. God 
grant it be so. Continue in it dear children. Do not let it slip 
again. Plead and wrestle with God, showing him that the cause 
is his own, and that it is all for his own glory to arise and have 
mercy upon Zion. 

Last of all, think of the causes in yourselves, O unconverted 
gouls ! Be sure of this, that ye will only have yourselves to 
blame, if ye awake in hell. You will not be able to plead God'a 
secret decrees, nor the sins of your minister, nor the carelessness 
of your godly neighbors — you will be speechless. If you die, it 
is because you unll die ; and if you will die, then you must die. 

Think, first, on your carelessness about o^'dinances. They are 
the channels through which God pours his Spirit. The Bible — ■ 
prayer — the house of God — these are the golden pipes through 


which the golden oil is poured. How many of you utterly 
neglect the Bible ? You know not the blessedness of the man 
spoicen of in the first Psahn. How many of you restrain prayer 
before God ? How many of you have dead, useless prayers, 
learned by rote 1 And Oh ! how you despise the house of God ? 
Alas ! that Church shall rise against you in judgment. It was a 
door of the ark brought near to you. Two years and more its 
gates have been wide open to you, and yet, how you have slighted 
it ! Already, I seem to hear your loud wailing when you mourn 
at the last and say, " How have I hated instruction, and my heart 
despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice of my teach- 

Think, second, how you have been mockers. It has been too 
common for you to make a mock of eternal things and of godly 
people. When there have been anxious souls seeking the wav to 
be saved, and they could not conceal their tears, you have called 
them hypocrites ! When some have got a new heart, and have 
changed their way of life, you have spoken scoffingly of them, 
and tried to bring them into contempt. Alas ! poor soul, look 
within. You have hardened your heart into an adamant stone. 
Look at Prov. xvii. 5, *' He that mocketh the poor reproacheth 
his Maker." And, again, Isaiah xxviii. 22, " Now, therefore, be 
ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong." 

To sum up all. The great cause that 1 leave you hard is, that 
you " despise the Son of God." You see no beauty in him that 
you should desire him. You lightly esteem the rock of your sal- 
vation. You have not had a soul-piercing look at a pierced 
Saviour. You have not seen the infinite load of sins that 
weighed down his blessed head. You have not seen how open 
his arms are to receive — how often he would have gathered you. 
You have not heard that sweet word whispered of the Spirit, 
" Behold me, behold me." which, when a man once hears, he 
leaves all and follows. You have trampled under foot the blood 
of the Son of God. Farewell, dear, dear souls. God knows 
that my whole heart prays that you may be saved. 

Perhaps there are some of you that never would bend under 
my ministry, that will melt like wax before the fire under the 
word of the dear young minister who is to speak to you in my 
absence. May the Lord give him hundreds for my tens ! I will 
often pray for you, and sometimes write to you when I am far 
away. If I reach Immanuel's land, I will say, " the Lord bless 
you out of Zion." And if you will not turn, remember I take 
God for a record that I am pure from the blood of you all. 

Dear children of God, I now cast you on him who cast you on 
me when I was ordained over you. He said to me, " feed my 
sheep" — " feed my lambs" — " feed my sheep." Now, when he 
sends me away, I would humbly return his own words to him, 
saying, O Shepherd of Israel — feed my sheep — feed my lambs — 


feed my sheep. Little children, love one another. Keep your- 
selves from idols. Bear me ever on your hearts. Pray that 
when I iiave preached to others, I may not be a castaway. Pray 
that I may save some. 

Now the God of peace, tha brought again from the dead our 
Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the 
blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good 
work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing 
ill his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for evei 
and ever. Amen. 

My next, if God will, may be from England. 

Incidents of the way as far as Leghorn — Exhortations 

Leghorn, May 2, 1839. 

To all of yoi% my beloved flock, who have received Chi'ist, and 
walk in Him, your pastor wishes grace, and mercy, and peace, 
from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. 

]My heart's desire and prayer for you every day is, that you 
may be saved. I am now far from you in the flesh, yet am I 
with you in the spirit. I thank my God without ceasing, for as 
many of you as have been awakened to flee from the wi-ath to 
come — have rested your soul upon the good word of God con- 
cerning Jesus — and have tasted the love of God. In every 
prayer of mine for you all, I ask that ye may continue in the 
faitli, grounded and settled — that ye may be like trees, rooted 
in Christ Jesus — or like si holy temple built up in him who is the 
only foundation-stone. 

I expected to have written you from London, and again before 
leaving France, but we have travelled so rapidly, often day and 
night, and the fatigue was so great in my weak frame, that I was 
disappointed in this ; but I did not forget you night or day, and I 
know well I am not forgotten by you. Since I wrote you last, I 
have passed through many cities and countries, and seen many 
faces and things strange to me. Many lessons for my own 
soul, and for yours I have learned. At present I must write you 

We left London on the 11th of April, and next morning 
crossed the British Channel from Dover to Boulogne, and found 
ourselves on the shores of France. The very first night we spent 
in France, we were visited by a most interesting Jew, evidently 
anxious about his soul. He spoke with us for many hours, ac- 
cepted the New Testameiit in Hebrew, and bade good bye with 
much emotion. We thanked God for this token for good. Pray 
for us that God may give us good success, that we may have the 


souls of Israel for our hire. From Boulogne we travelled to Paris, 
by day and by night, and spent a Sabbath there, Alas ! poor 
Paris knows no Sabbath, all the shops are open, and all the inhab- 
itants are on the wing in search of pleasures — pleasures that 
perish in the using. I thought of Babylon and of Sodom as I 
passed through the crowd. I cannot tell how I longed for the 
peace of a Scottish Sabbath. There is a place in Paris called the 
Champs Elysees, or Plains of Heaven — a beautiful public walk, 
with trees and gardens : we had to cross it on passing to the 
Protestant church. It is the chief scene of their Sabbath dese- 
cration, and an awful scene it is. O ! thought I, if this is the 
heaven a Parisian loves, he will never enjoy the pure heaven that 
is above. Try yourselves by that text, Isaiah Iviii. 13, 14. I 
remember of once preaching to you from it. Do you really de- 
light in the Sabbath-day ? If not, you are no child of God. I 
remember with grief that there are many among you that de- 
spise the Sabbath — some who buy and sell on that holy day — 
some who spend its blessed hours in worldly pleasures, in folly and 
sin. Oh ! you would make Dundee another Paris if you could. 
Dear believers, oppose these ungodly practices with all your 
might. The more others dishonor God's holy day, the more do 
you honor it, and show that you love it of all the seven the best. 
Even in Paiis, as in Sardis, we found a little flock of believers. 
We heard a sweet sermon in English, and another in French. 
There are only 2000 Protestant hearers out of the half million 
that inhabit Paris, and there are fourteen faithful sermons preached 
every Sabbath. 

We left the French capital on the 16th April, a lovely evening, 
with a deep blue sky above, and a lovely country before us, on 
the banks of the Seine. This would be a delightsome land, if it 
only had the light of God's countenance upon it. We travelled 
three days and three nights, by Troyes, Dijon, and Chalons, till 
we came to Lyons, upon the rapid river Rhone, in the south of 
France. The Lord stirred up kind friends to meet us. Lyons is 
famous as being the place where many Christians were martyred 
in the first ages, and where many were burned at the time of the 
Reformation, because they loved and confessed the Lord Jesus. 
God loves the place still. There is a small body of 300 believers, 
who live here under a faithful pastor, Mr. Cordees. He cheered 
our hearts much, and sent us away with affectionate prayers. 

That day we sailed down the Rhone more than 100 miles, 
through a most wonderful country. We hoped to have spent the 
Sabbath at Marseilles, but just as we entered the Mediterranean 
Sea, a storm of wind arose, and drove the vessel on a barren 
island, at the mouth of the Rhone. We all landed and spent our 
Sabbath quietly on the desert island. It was your communion 
Sabbath ; and I thought that perhaps this providence was given 
me that I might have a quiet day to pray for you. There were 


about twelve fishermen's huts on the Island, made of reeds, with 
a vine growing before the door, and a fig-tree in their garden. 
We gave tracts and books in French to all our fellow-passengers, 
and to the inhabitants, and tried to hallow the Sabbath. My 
heart went up to God the whole day for you all, and for my dear 
friends who would be ministering to you. I tried to go over you 
one by one as many as I could call to mind. My longing desire 
for you was, that Jesus might reveal himself to you in the break- 
ing of bread — that you might have heart-filling views of the lovely 
person of Immanuel, and might draw from liijn rivers of comfort, 
life, and holiness. I trust your fellowship was with the Father, 
and with his Son Jesus Christ. Many I know are ignorant of 
Jesus. I trembled when I thought of their taking the bread and 
wine. You all know my mind upon this. The next morning the 
storm abated, and we sailed over the tideless sea, and reached 
the beautiful harbor of Marseilles by eight o'clock. We had con- 
ference with a faithful young minister, and with the Rabbi of the 
Jews. We also attended the synagogue the same evening. The 
Jews of France are fast falling into infidelity, especially the 
younger Jews. They do not love the law and the prophets as 
their fathers did. They are, indeed, the dry bones in Ezek. xxxvii. 
Still God can make them live. It is our part to speak to them 
the word of the Lord, and to pray for the quickening spirit. 

True Christians in France are increasing. There are '^00 Pro- 
testant ministers, and nearly one half of these are faithful men, 
who know nothing among their flocks but Christ and him cruci- 
fied. In some places Christians seem more bold and devoted than 
in Scotland. It is very pleasant to hear them singing the French 
psalms ; they sing with all their heart, and are much given to 
prayer. Oh, my dear Christians, be like them in these things. 
May the same Holy Spirit, who has often visited you in times 
gone by, fill your hearts more than ever with praise and prayer. 

Popery in France is waxing bolder. The first day we landed 
on the shore, it was evident we were in a land of Popish dark- 
ness. On the height above Boulogne, a tall white cross attracted 
our eyes. We found on it an image of our Saviour nailed to the 
tree, larger than life ; the spear, the hammer, the nails, the sponge, 
were all there. It was raised by some shipwrecked fishermen ; 
and sailors' wives go there in a storm to pray for their absent 
husbands. The Popish priests meet us in every street ; they wear 
a tliree-cornered hat, black bands, a black mantle with a sash, and 
large buckles on their shoes ; they have all a dark suspicious look 
about them. At the entrance of every village there is a cross, 
and the churches are full of pictures and images. I went into 
one church in Paris, the finest in France, where the crosses were 
all of pure silver and there waa a large white image of the Virgin 
Mary, holding the infant Jesus in her arms. Many rich and poor 
were kneeling on the pavement before the image silently praying. 


Gross darkness covers the people. A priest travelled one whole 
night with us in the coach. We argued with him first in French 
and then in Latin, trying to convince him of his errors, and show- 
ing him his need of peace with God and a new heart. In the 
cxxxvii. Psalm you will see that Babylon, or Popery, is " doomed 
to destruction ;" and in Revel, xviii. you will see that her destruc- 
tion will be very sudden and very terrible. O that it may come 
soon, for thousands are perishing under its soul-destroying errors. 
And yet remember what I used to read to you out of Martin 
Boos; and remember the saying of the Lord to Elijah, 1 Kings xix. 
There may be many hidden ones even in Babylon. The whole 
way through France we distributed French Tracts. Many hun- 
dreds in this way received the message of life. In every village 
they came crowding around us to receive them. Pray that the 
dew of the Spirit may make the seed sown by the wayside 
spring up. 

We were too late for the first vessel to Malta, and therefore re- 
solved to sail into Italy. We left Marseilles on the 23d April, and 
landed in Genoa on the 24th. Genoa is one of the most beauti- 
ful towns in the world — the most of the houses and churches are 
of pure white marble, and, from the sea, look like palaces ; but Sa- 
tan's seat is there — we dared not distribute a single tract or book 
in Genoa — we would have been imprisoned immediately. The Ca- 
tholic priests, in their black dismal cloaks, and the monks with their 
coarse brown dress, tied with a cord, a crucifix and beads hang- 
ing round their neck, bare feet, and cowl, swarm in every street, 
I counted that we met twenty of them in a ten minutes' walk. 
Popery reigns here triumphant, yet the people "are sitting still, 
and at ease," living for this world only. Oh ! it is an awful thing 
to be at ease when under the wrath of God. Every place I see 
in Italy makes me praise God that you have the gospel so freely 
preached unto you. Prize it highly ; do not neglect the wells of 
salvation that flow so freely for you. 

The next day we sailed for Leghorn, where we have been ever 
since. We are living in the house where the excellent Mr. Mar- 
tin, once minister of St. George's, Edinburgh, died in 1834. We 
visited his grave. I prayed that, like him, we might be faithful 
unto the end. There are from 10,000 to 20,000 Jews here. We 
went to the synagogue the night we arrived, and twice since ; it 
is a beautiful building inside, capable of holding 2000 persons. 
The place where they keep the law, written on a parchment roil, 
is finely ornamented with marble ; so is the desk kept where they 
read the prayers. Lamps are continually burning. One Rabbi 
was chanting the prayers when we entered. Beside the ark there 
stood three Rabbis, in the eastern dress, with turbans and flowing 
robes, and long beards. They were much reverenced, and many 
came to kiss their hand, and receive their blessing. One of them 
is from Jerusalem ; we have had manv interesting conversations 


with liim. Every day we have met with several Jews ; they are 
very friendly to us, and we try to convince them out of the Scrip- 
tures that Jesus is the Christ. There are about 250 Protestants 
here, and we have tried to stir them up also to care for their souls. 
Dr. iilack preached to them in our hotel last Sabbath evening. 

Hitherto the Lord hath helped us. To-morrow we sail from 
Italy to Malta, then for Egypt, and then for the Holy Land. Dear 
believers, it is a sweet consolation to me that your prayers go 
with me wherever I go. Oiten, perhaps, they close the mouth of 
the adversary — often keep back the storms irom our vessel — often 
open a way to the hearts of those we meet — ol'ten bring down a 
sweet stream of the Spirit to water my thirsty soul. May I be 
enabled to make a sweet exchange with you, praying my heaven- 
ly father to render double unto each of your bosoms what you 
pray for me ! May my dear brother, who, I trust, fills my place 
among you, be made a blessing to you all — may his own soul be 
watered while he waters yours ! Join him with me in your sup- 
plications. May he win many souls among you that I could never 

This is Thursday evening. I trust you are at this moment met 
together in the prayer meeting. Oh ! do not forsake the assem- 
bling of yourselves together. My heart is with you all. May 
the Spirit fill the whole church, and every heart, with his presence 
and j)0wer. My body is still lar from being strong. I am more 
and more convinced tliat I did right in leaving you. I trust to be 
restored to you again in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel 
of Christ. " The will of the Lord be done." 

My dear brother, who is with me, whom you know well, and 
who daily joins me in fervent prayers for you, sends his saluta- 
tions. Remember me to all who are sick and alilicted. Alas I 
how many of you may be laboring and heavy laden, that I know 
not of; but Jesus knows your sorrows. I commend you to the 
good physician. 

Ml/ dear classes, I do not, and cannot forget — cxix. Psalm, 9th 
verse, I pray may be written in your hearts. 

My dear children in ike Sabbath-schools, I always think upon, 
on the Sabbath evenings ; a7id on those who patiently labor among 
them. The Lord himself give you encouragement, and a full re- 

7o all I say, keep close to Christ, dear friends. ' Do not be en- 
ticed away from him ; he is all your righteousness, and all mine ; 
out of Him you have all your strength, and I mine. It pleased 
the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits. Fare- 



Incidents of the way in Palestine and other lands— Request. 

Bkeslaw. in Prussia, Oct. 16, 1839. 

To my dear flock, whom I love in the Lord Jesus, grace, mercy 
and peace, be multiplied from God the Father, and from his Son, 
Jesus Christ. 

I fear that many of you will be thinking hardly of your distant 
pastor, because of his long silence ; and, indeed, I cannot but 
think hardly of myself. I little thought, when leaving Italy, that 
I would be in Europe again before writing to you. I did not 
know how difficult it is to write at any length when travelling in 
the East. From the day we left Egypt till we came to Mount 
Lebanon, for more than two months, we were constantly journey- 
ing from place to place, living in tents, without the luxury of a 
chair or a bed. In these circumstances, wdth my weak body, and 
under a burning sun, you must not wonder at my silence. At the 
foot of Mount Carmei I began one letter to you. and again in 
sight of the Sea of Galilee I began another, but neither did I get 
finished. Last of all, before leaving the Holy Land, I set apart 
a day for writing to you; but God had another lesson for me to 
learn. He laid me down under a burning fever, bringing me to 
the very gates of death. Indeed, my dear people, I feel like 
Lazarus, whom the Lord raised from the tomb. I feel like one 
sent a second time with the message of salvation, to speak it more 
feelingly and more faithfully to your hearts, as one whose eye had 
looked into the eternal world. In all our wanderings, you have 
been with me by night and by day. Every scene of Immanuel's 
land brought you to my remembrance, because every scene tells 
of Jesus Christ, and him crucified. In the wilderness — in Jeru- 
salem — beside the Sea of Galilee — at Smyrna — on the Black Sea 
— on the Danube — you have all been with me. I have, day and 
night, unceasingly laid your case before God. It has been one of 
my chief comforts, that, though I could not preach to you, nor 
come to you, I could yet pray for you. Perhaps I may obtain 
more for you in this way, than I could have done by my personal 
services among you. Another joy to me has been, that I know 
all of you who pray, pray for me. This has been a lamp to 
me in many a dark hour. God has wonderfully preserved us 
through your prayers. In the south of the Holy Land, we were 
daily exposed to the plague. Every night we heard the wail 
of the mourners going about the streets of Jerusalem ; yet no 
plague came near our dwelling. Near the Sea of Galilee, we 
were often in danger of being robbed and murdered by the wild 
Arabs ; yet we passed unhurt through the midst of them. Sailing 
to Smyrna, your pastor w^as brought low indeed, in so much that 
I never thought to see you again ; yet he sent his word and healed 


me. In Poland, tlie Sabbath before last, I was actually in the 
hands of robbers ; but through God's wonderful mercy, I escaped 
safe.. In every stej) of our journey, I am persuaded we have been 
watched over by our all-Ioving Father, who is the hearer of prayer. 
And the Lord shall dehver us from every evil work, and will jn-e- 
serve us unto his heavenly kingdom, I speak of these things only 
that you may give him the glory, and trust in him to your dying 
day. Sing the cxvi. Psalm in all your lamilies. Another joy to 
me has been, that God has given you the dear brother who 
watches over you so tenderly. You know not what joy it gave 
me to hear of you all through him. The letter reached me at 
Smyrna, when I was so weak that I could not walk alone. It 
was like health and marrow to my bones, to hear that the Lord's 
work is not yet done in the midst of you, and that so many of 
you stand fast in the Lord, having your conversation in heaven. 
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the 
truth. It is not like common joy. All joys of this world are 
short and fading — they reach not beyond the dark boundary of 
the grave ; but to rejoice over those whom the Lord has given 
me out of a perishing world — this is joy which God himself shares, 
and which reaches into the light of eternity. Ye are my joy and 
crown. In like manner, there is no sorrow like the sorrow of the 
pastor, who has to weep over a backsliding people. I do tremble 
to return to you, for I know well I shall have deep sorrow from 
some, of whom I expected joy. I fear lest I have to mourn over 
some branches that are without fruit, on the good vine-tree ; over 
some, who once gave their hand to the Saviour, but are now say- 
ing, " I will go after my lovers." Are there none of you who 
have left your first love, and broken the bands that bound you to 
follow Jesus ? Shall I find none of whom I must needs say, 
" They went out from us, but they were not of us ?" Oh, there 
is no sorrow like unto this sorrow. 

Had I been able, as I hoped, to have written you from all the 
chief places in our journeyings, I would have attempted to de- 
scribe to you all I saw ; but now there are so many countries to 
look back upon, that it would be in vain to attempt it. I do hope, 
that if the Lord bring us together again, I may be able to tell you 
many things of our wanderings, and especially of Immanuel's 
land, which may both refresh and improve you. Nothing that I 
have heard I keep back from you, if only it be for your soul's 
good and God's glory. Of the Holy Land, I can only say, like 
the Queen of Sheba, " that the half was not told me." It is far 
more wonderful than I could have believed. I shall always reckon 
it one of the greatest temporal blessings of my lot, that I have 
been led to wander over its mountains with the Bible in my hand, 
to sit by its wells, and to meditate among its ruined cities. Not 
a single day did we spend there without reading, in the land it- 
self, the most wonderful traces of God's anger and of his love. 


Several times we went to the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of 
Gelhsemane, to the Pool of Siloam, and to the Village of Bethany 
and every stone seemed to speak of the love of God to sinners. 
These places are probably very little altered from what they 
were in the days when Jesus tabernacled among men, and they 
all seemed to say, " Hereby perceive we the love of God, because 
he laid down his life for us. We were four days in sight of the 
Sea of Galilee. I could not help thinking of you, my dear young 
people, for we used to go over the Sea of Galilee so often on the 
Monday evenings, and all the scenes of divine love it has been 
witness to. One day we rode through the Plain of Gennesareth, 
and passed the mouldering ruins of Capernaum, the Saviour's 
city, where his voice of mercy was so often heard, and where 
his hand was so often stretched out to heal. We asked in vain 
for Chorazin and Bethsaida. The woe which Jesus pronounced 
has fallen upon them. 

O my dear flock, '• how shall you escape if you neglect so great 
salvation ?" See how desolate they are left, that refuse him that 
speaketh from heaven. The free offer of a divine surety, rings 
through your churches, now that God continues faithful teachers 
among you. Every Sabbath, and oftener, the fountain for sin is 
publicly opened for you, and souls, all defiled with sin, are invited 
to come and wash. But these mercies will not always last. 

If you tread the glorious gospel of the grace of God under 
your feet, your souls will perish ; and I fear Dundee will one day 
be a howling wilderness like Capernaum. I spent nearly the 
whole of August, during my illness in Bouja, a village near 
Smyrna, under the care of tenderest friends, whom the Lord 
wonderfully provided for me in a strange land. You remember 
Smyrna is one of the Seven Churches in Asia to which the Sa- 
viour sent those quickening messages in the Revelation of St. 
John. I thought again and again of the happy Thursday even- 
ings which I once spent with you in meditating on these Seven 
Epistles to the Churches. You know it is said of Samuel, even 
when he was a child, that God did not let one of his words fall 
the gi'ound, and the same is true to this hour of the very weakest 
of God's f^iithful ministers. What we have spoken to you is not 
like the passing wind, which hurries on and leaves no trace be- 
hind. It is like the rain and snow — it will not return to God 
without accomplishing some end in your hearts, either melting or 
hardening. Smyrna is the only one of these churches where a 
pure golden candlestick is now to be found with the light burning. 
There is a small company who believe in Jesus. It was pleasant 
indeed to hear the gospel preached there in all its purity and 
power. Be you also faithful to death, and you shall receive a 
crown of life. Leaving Smyrna, we sailed past Troas and Bi- 
thynia, and visited Constantinople, the most beautiful city in the 
world, and yet the most miserable. Looking round from the 


deck of the vessel, I aould count above ninety minarets, many of 
them puie marble, carved and gilded in the richest manner. 
These all ibrm part of mosques, or temples of the false prophet 
Mahomet. This religion is a singuiar invention of Satan ; their 
Koran, or Bible, is a book filled with nonsense, and with much 
wickedness. All their belief is comprehe.nded in the short saving, 
« Ln Ullah il Allah, a Mahomed Rasal Allah"—" There is no"God 
but Ci'id, and Mahomet is his prophet." They expect to be saved 
chieHy by making pilgrimages to Mecca, by abstaining from wine 
and pork, and by praying five times a day. Every day, at sun- 
rise or sunset, we saw them at prayer ; wherever they are, in the 
open street, on the top of the house, or on the deck of a ship, they 
take off the'r shoes, wash hands, face, and feet, sjirea-d their gar- 
ment before them, and turning their face towards Mecca, pray, 
bending and kissing the ground, oiten fifteen and twenty times. 
They are rather pleased if you look at them. They are very 
proud of their own faith, and will not listen for a moment to the 
gospel of Jesus. It would be instant banishment or death if any 
missionary were to attempt their conversion. Ah ! my dear 
flock, how differently you are situated. How freely salvation is 
offered to you — a faith that really saves you from your sins — that 
makes you love one another ! For love is of God, and every one 
that loveth is born of God. If you are not growing humble and 
loving, be sure your faith is no better than a Mahometan's. You 
are not of God, but of the world. 

The next countries we visited were Wallachia and ]Moldavia. 
We sailed to them from Constantinople, across the raging waves 
of the Black Sea, and up the mighty river Danube. Tliese are 
two singular countries, seldom visited by travellers ; they are 
governed by two princes, and the established religion is of the 
Greek Church. I wish 1 could show you all that I have seen of 
the superstitions and wickedness practised among them, that you 
might give more earnest heed to the pure gospel that flows as 
freely as air and water through our beloved land. One day, in 
Bucharest, the capital city of Wallachia, I was present at a festi- 
val on the prince's birthday. An immense crowd was present in 
their finest church, and all the nobles of the land. The service 
consisted of prayers and chanting by a number of priests, dressed 
in the most splendid manner. When all was over I staid behind 
to see a curious superstition. At one side of the altar lay an 
open coffin, highly ornamented ; within I observed a dead body 
wrapped in cloth of gold ; a dead withered hand alone was left 
out. This is said to be the body of St. Demetrius, lately found in 
a river, by the water parting asunder miraculously. Such is the 
tale we are told. I stood beside it when the worshippers ap- 
proached the coflin in great numbers, men and women, rich and 
poor. First, they crossed themselves and kneeled, kissing the 
floor three times. Then they approached reverently, and kissed 


the withered hand of the dead body and a cross that lay beside 
it. Then they gently dropped a small coin into a little plate at 
the dead man's feet, and after receiving a blessing from the priest, 
with three prostrations more to the ground, they retired. This is 
one specimen of their abominable worship of dead men. Do I 
tell you these things that you may be proud of your superior 
light? Ah ! no. I write these things that those of you who live 
no better lives than they do, may be convinced of your danger. 
What can you expect of these poor idolaters, but that they will 
live after the flesh, in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and 
wantonness, in strife and envying. But are there none of you, my 
dear flock, for whom night and day my prayers ascend — are there 
none of you who do the same things, though you have the holy 
Bible, and a freely preached gospel, and no superstition 1 Yet 
how many of you live an unholy life ! Ah ! remember Sardis — ■ 
" I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and 
art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, 
that are ready to die : for I have not found thy works perfect be- 
fore God." The next kingdom we came through was Austrian 
Poland — the land of graven images. We came through its chief 
towns, Tarnapole, Brody, Lemburg, and from thence to Cracow, 
travelling many hundred miles. You would be amazed, as I have 
been, if you saw the abominable idolatry of this land. The Ro- 
man Catholic is the established faith ; and the government are 
bitter persecutors of any who change. At every village there 
are numbers of crosses, of immense size, with the image of the 
Saviour. There are also statues of the Virgin Mary, and of 
other saints, as large as life, all along the roads. Often there are 
wooden boxes set up, full of images ; often in the middle of a 
square there is a small covered chamber full of these idols, of 
wood and stone, whom the poor people w^orship every day. The 
Bible is an unlawful book in this country. All our Bibles were 
taken away from us, even our Hebrew ones, that we might not 
preach to the Jews the glad tidings of a Saviour. Blessed be 
God, they could not take them from our memories and hearts. 
Should not this make you all pray for the coming of the day 
when the towers of Popery shall fall — the day when God shall 
avenge us on her ? for the Bible which she hates so much says, 
"Her plagues shall come in one day, death, and mourning, and 
famine ; and she shall be utterly burned with fire ; for strong is 
the Lord God who judgeth her." Pray for that day. for it will be 
the same day when God will bind up the breach of his people 
Israel, and shall heal the stroke of their wound. It will be the 
day when the Lamb's wife shall come forth in all her loveliness, 
and when the Lord Jesus shall wear the crown of his espousals. 

I began this letter to you in Cracow, the ancient capital of 
Poland, but now an independent state. We spent three days 
there inquiring after the poor despised Jews. We had much in- 

VOL. I. 13 



tercourse with a faithful, prayerful missionary, who labors among 
them there ; and on the Sabbath we celebrated the Lord's Sup- 
per. During the four years he has been in Cracow, the mission- 
ary had never once enjoyed the ordinance, for all around are 
sunk in Popery or infidelity. We were but five souls in all. and 
yet we felt it very pleasant, when surrounded with them that 
hated us, and far from our homes, with the door of the chamber 
shut, to remember Jesus. My thoughts and desires were much 
towards you. I had greatly hoped to be present at your next 
Lord's Supper, but now I see it cannot be. My only comfort is, 
J have committed you to those wiio are beloved of the Lord, 
Workmen that need not to be ashamerl, whose names are in the 
Book of Life ; and the chief Shepherd, I feel persuaded, will not 
leave you orphans, but will come to you, and breathe upon you. 
May the Lord keep back from the Table all who are not united 
to Christ ; and may you, who are his own children, have com- 
munion with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ ! 

Since yesterday morning, we have travelled 180 miles nearer 
home. We are now in Breslaw, and we breathe more freely, for 
this is the Protestant kingdom of Prussia. It makes my heart 
light to think that I am really on my way to you. It has been a 
sweet work indeed to me to carry, with poor stammering lips, the 
word of salvation to the scattered sheep of the house of Israel ; 
still, I do long, if it be the Lord's will, to feed once more the 
flock that was given me in the dew of my youth. Whether I 
shall be permitted, and how long, to take up so great a work 
again, my Master only knows ; but, if you wish for it as fer- 
vently as I do, solemnly agree, in the presence of God, on the 
night on which this letter is read to you, to these two things — 1st, 
Strive, together with me, in your prayers to God for me, that it 
would please him to forgive and forget our past sins and short- 
comings — mine in carrying the morsage, yours in receiving it ; 
and that he would really heal my body, and strengthen my soul, 
for again uptaking the blessed work of the Gospel-ministry among 
you. anfl that he would grant us a prosperous journey to come 
unto you. 2d, Solemnly agree, in the strength of the Lord Jesus, 
to break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by 
showing mercy to the poor. The sin of one Achan troubled the 
whole camp of Israel. If any one of you who are God's chil- 
djen wilfully continue in some old sin, then it may be God's will, 
for your sake, to trouble our camp, and continue his chastening. 
See that no fleshly lust — no covetonsness, which is idolatry — no 
hankering after the world and its unholy pleasures — no unlawful 
allection — be reigning in you. Clean out the old leaven from all 
your houses, so that we may meet again in peace, and be refresh- 
ed together by days of the Lord's presence, and of the Spirit's 
power, such as we have never seen before. This is the hearty 
desire and prayer of your aflectionate pastor, &c. 


The Holy Land. 

Jerusalem, June 17, 1839. 

My dear Friend — I am sure you will be glad to hear from 
ycmr brother in the ministry, in this land trodden by the feet of 
" God manifest in the flesh," My thoughts wander continually to 
the spot where God first counted me faithful, putting me into the 
ministry ; where, for two years, he made me a happy minister of 
the gospel, and where I believe I have many praying friends who 
will not forget me so long as I live. In these sweet remem- 
brances — whether in the vales of Italy, or on the mighty waters, 
or in the waste howling wilderness, or in this land of promise, you 
and your family have their constant place. I doubt not also that 
you often think and talk of me. When some Church Extension 
expedition has turned out well, you will say, " What would our 
travelling friend say to this ?" Or when the liberties of oui 
Church are infringed, and the arm of unhallowed power is raised 
against her, you perhaps think a moment, " How will our travel- 
ler bear this ?" I am thankful to Him who dwelt in the bush that 
we are all here in safety, and I myself in moderate health, quite 
able to endure the fatigues of travelling, although these have been 
very great. You would hear of our swift journey through France, 
and our pleasant stay in Italy. Malta was the next place of in- 
terest we came to. It is a very lovely island, having customs 
from every nation almost under heaven. It is highly important 
as a centre of missionary operations, having a printing press, and 
some useful, excellent men employed. In riding round its rocky 
shore, we looked on every creek with interest, remembering 
Paul's shipwreck here, and his three months' stay in the island. 
The atmosphere is truly pleasant, and the sky has a peculiarly 
fine tinge of yellowish red. We had a pleasant sail past Greece, 
and among the wonderful islands of the iEgean sea. We landed 
on one called Syra, and saw the Mission actively engaged, 600 
Greek children reading God's word in Greek. The same even- 
ing we sailed between Naxos and Paros, where the beautiful 
marble was found, and stretched our eyes to see Patmos, where 
the beloved John wrote the Revelation. We could only see 
the waves that washed its shore. We passed Crete, and read the 
Epistle to Titus with a new interest ; and the next day at four 
(13th May) sailed into the harbor of Alexandria. The customs 
of the East are very striking to the eye at first. The turban, the 
beard, the hyke or immense plaid, the wide Arab trousers, the 
black visages and legs of the men, quite arrest the attention. 
The close veil, the forehead ornaments, the ear-rings, the anklets, 
the burden carried on tJie head, the children carried on the shoul- 
der, or on the side, all these in the women are striking, especially 


at first. They will recall to you many of the words of the pro- 
phets. The plague having broken out at Alexandria the day we 
arrived, we were prevented from going up to Cairo, and after 
having visited the Jews in the synagogues, we determined on 
proceeding througii the desert for the Holy Land, that we might 
escape quarantine. We left Alexandria on the 14th May, and 
reached Jerusalem on the 7th June. We were about twenty-two 
days living after the manner of Bedouins in the wilderness. 

Mount Carmel, 24t/i June, 1839. — I thought to have got this 
letter finished in Jerusalem, but we were hurried away so unex- 
pectedly, in consequence of a considerable increase of the plague 
in the holy city then, that I had to leave this and many other 
things undone. You will see by the date that we are now beside 
that mountain where God did such wonders in the days of Elijah. 
We are encamped in our tents within a few yards of the sea. I 
am now writing upon a mat on the sand. The thermometer is 
somewhere about 80'^, and I am writing with my desk on my 
knee. For the sake of distinctness, I will take up the thread of 
our story where I last left it off. Our journey through the desert 
was a very trying one in many ways. I now understand the 
meaning of the text which says, " God led the Israelites through 
the wilderness to try them, and prove them, and make them know 
what was in their hearts." The loneliness is very great. The 
utter silence of all the world to you — the want of every necessary 
except what you carry along with you — all these try the soul in a 
way you can hardly imagine, whether we will cast all our care 
upon God or no. The first part of the desert journey we went 
upon asses ; but the second, and longest part, upon camels — a 
made of journeying of all others the most fatiguing. I have 
thought a hundred times what a singular picture it would make, 
to draw our company, riding through the desert exalted to the 
giddy height of the hunch of the camel. I have often thought 
also, more seriously and properly, how plainly God heard the pray- 
ers of all our dear friends in preserving us from many dangers. 
It is quite a miracle that I was enabled to bear the fatigue of 
being up before sunrise, and sailing over that burning wilderness, 
often twelve hours a-day. We came the nearest way from 
Egypt, alluded to in Exod. xiii. 17, and had opportunity of seeing 
Rosetta and Damietta, two curious Egyptian towns. We sailed 
across a lake called Menzaleh, and encamped one night beside the 
ruins of the ancient Zoan. Amid these we could plainly trace 
the finger of God in the fulfilment of the word in Ezekiel xxx. 14, 
" I will set fire in Zoan." At El Arish, the last town of Egypt, 
we clearly traced what we believed to be the River of Egypt, so 
often spoken of, as tlie boundary of Judah. Like all the streams 
m the south, it is perfectly dry, but the water-course was very 
evident. By the way, this suggests the meaning of a text which 
I never understood before, Psalm cxxvi., " Turn our captivity aa 


the streams in the south." In the whole of the south part of 
Canaan the streams dry up in the summer. I think we only came 
upon one flowing stream between the hill and Jerusalem. In the 
winter God restores these streams, supplying them with abundance 
of water. Now this is the very prayer of the Psalmist, " Do for 
our brethren in captivity what thou doest for the streams in the 
south. Restore them in all their life, and fulness, and beauty." 
So may it be in all our parishes, in all our beloved Scotland — 
never so lovely or desirable as when we are far from it, and from 
its pleasant Sabbaths. I must tell you now about Jerusalem. It 
is indeed the most wonderful place I was ever in. We reached 
it about twelve o'clock, under a burning sun. The bleak rocky 
hills over which we crossed were like a heated oven, but all was 
forgotten when the city of the Great King came in sight. " Your 
house is left unto you desolate." That word was upon every 
tongue. Almost every approach to Jerusalem gives you this deso- 
late feeling ; but when you stay there, and wander down into its 
deep valleys — or climb its terraced hills — or sit beside shady 
Siloam, whose waters flow softly — or meditate on Mount Zion, 
ploughed like a field — the whole current of your feelings is made 
to flow, and Jerusalem presents the remains of departed beauty 
such as you seek for in vain in any other land. 

The scene which might- seem of greatest interest in Jerusalem 
is Calvary, where the Son of God died. But God has so willed 
it that nothing but pain and disappointment follow the inquirer 
after the spot where the blood flowed which cleanses from all sin. 
You know there is a great church built over the place. The hole 
made by the cross is enclosed in a star of gold ; and a marble 
slab covers what they call the sepulchre. They tell you so many 
heinous falsehoods, that we were all inclined to doubt the whole 
matter. The place in Jerusalem is now within the walls, instead 
of " without the gate." There is no mount — no garden — nothing 
to remind you of that day of awful interest. Gethsemane makes 
up in interest all that we want in Calvary. The very place re- 
mains, and by its simplicity, convinces the mind that it was the 
spot that Jesus loved. Above you, on the opposite side of Kedron, 
the high steep brow of Moriah rises ; then the wall of the city ; 
aud above it, the Mosque of Omar, which stands on the site of 
God's holy temple. The road to Bethany passes in front of the 
garden. The path up the Mount of Olives forms another boun- 
dary. It is enclosed with old stone walls, like all the walls of 
Judea, of rude stones, without any cement. Eight very old 
olives, of a thousand years at least, stand as monuments in the 
place. It is a sweet and sacred spot ; and you will not wonder 
that we were often drawn to visit it, and to pray on the very spot 
where Jesus sweated great drops of blood. The Mount of Olives 
is a hill of which you never weary. As you ascend it from Geth- 
semane, every step gives you a new prospect. We turned round 


again and again to look upon Jerusalem. Jeremiah says, " From 
the daughter of Zion ail beauty is departed." And I believe if we 
had seen " the perfection of beauty" in the day of its glory, we 
would say the same. Still, from the Mount of Olives it is most 
beautiful. You see " the mountains all standing round about Jeru- 
salem." The whiteness of the buildings gives it a dazzling ap- 
pearance. The deep valleys on every side are very remarkable. 
On the north, a rising tower marks Ramah, where Samuel was 
born ; and on the south, the eye fixes on Herodion, a conical hill 
beside Bethlehem. When you come to the top of Olivet, you look 
to the east, and the Dead Sea seems to be stretched at your feet. 
The mountains of Moab look quite near ; and you try to find out 
Pisgah, where Moses enjoyed his view of the good land. Betha- 
ny appears upon the east side of a declivity near you — a pleasant 
village. Twice we wandered out as far as Bethany. It was 
pleasant indeed to sit under its spreading fig-trees, and to read 
over John xi. Returning by the Jericho road, we stopt at the 
spot where Jesus wept over the city. It is the place where you 
" come near and behold the city," at the descent of the Mount of 
Olives. After full consideration, I believe it to be the very spot. 
Zion is literally ploughed like a field. I have brought with me 
some barley that I found growing on its summit. Jerusalem is 
become heaps. The heaps of ruins wi^in the city are amazing ; 
in some parts they are higher than the walls. " The mountain 
of the house is like the high places of the forest." Mount Moriah 
has now two Turkish mosques upon it. Aceldama is a peaceful 
spot, overhanging the pleasant valley of Hinnom, once the scene 
of hideous rites. The plague was very severe in the city during 
our stay there, which prevented us from having that close inter- 
course with the inhabitants, and especially with the Jews, which 
was so desirable. Mr. Nicolayson, the English missionary, acted 
towards us like a brother. He lodged us in one of the mission 
houses upon Mount Zion, and gave us opportunity of preaching 
and of receiving the Lord's Supper. It was truly pleasant to eat 
of that bread and drink of that cup in an Upper Room in Jerusa- 
lem. There are about 5000 Jews in Jerusalem, very poor and 
very divided among themselves, looked down upon as dogs by 
the Moslems ; still they bear in their faces and manners the proof 
that the land is their own. They are entirely supported by con- 
tributions from Europe. They devote themselves to the study 
of the Law and the Talmud. I had an interesting meeting with 
one Jew at the large stones, the only remains of God's temple. 
He was sitting praying, and looking very sad. I asked him what 
he was reading. He showed me ; it was the xxii. Psalm in He- 
brew. I took it up and read it over to him. He said he under- 
stood it — and that it applied to David. I showed him that could 
not be, for David was never pierced in hands and feet, I 


shortly explained to him the gospel, and showed him the only 
way of forgiveness. He looked very sad sitting on the ground. 

I must hurry on. We visited Hebron, and had an interesting 
meeting with the Jews there. It is a delightful place. We visited 
Bethlehem on our return. It is curious that almost all the inhabi- 
tants of Bethlehem are Christians — that is, Greeks and Catholics. 
We left Jerusalem on the 18th instant, and proceeded north by 
Ramah, Gibeon, Bethel, Sychar, Samaria, to Carmel. I cannot 
tell you the delightful and solemn feelings with which we traverse 
this land of promise. The fulfilment of prophecy is everywhere 
remarkable. At Sychar we tried to find out the ivell where Jesus 
sat wearied. Mr. Bonar found it, and let his Bible fall into it. 
He could not get it again, " for the well is deep." Ebal on the 
orth, a frowning rocky hill. Gerizzim is also precipitous, but 
smiles with verdant gardens. Sychar is a beautiful place. We 
spent a most interesting morning among the Jews and Samari- 
tans — saw both their synagogues, and reasoned with them out of 
the Scriptures, proving that Jesus is the Christ. Oh that the Sa- 
viour would do as he did before in this place — say plainly, " I that 
speak unto thee am He" When we meet, if that be the will of 
God, I shall have many descriptions to give you of the scenes of 
this land. It has far surpassed all my expectations. We arrived 
at Carmel on Saturday, and are now in quarantine. We and all 
our clothes were yesterday bathed in the sea. In consequence of 
undergoing this process our quarantine is seven days shorter ; and 
on Monday next we hope to proceed to Tiberias and Saphet — the 
only places of importance for Jews, except Tyre and Sidon, which 
we shall visit on our way to Beyrout. We are sorry that so 
much of our time is taken up, but we have gone as quickly as 
possible in the circumstances. We are all in good health. I suf- 
fer occasionally from my heart, but much less than I used. I do 
hope, if it be the will of my Master, that I may yet again serve 
him in the gospel of his Son. This is a delicious climate. I have 
heard once from home. I am thankful to hear of the peace and 
grace given to my people on our communion-day. Dear people, 
may the great Shepherd feed them ! I was happy to hear of Dr. 
Chalmers' success. Dismayed at the decision of the Lord Chan- 
cellor, but " Jehovah nissi," — the Lord is our banner. My kind- 
est regards to Mrs. R., and to the brethren that ask for me. I 
often pray most humbly for all, even my enemies. Yours ever, 


The Holy Land. 

Moi;nt Carmel, June 26, 1839. 

My dear Friend — I wrote to you from the Land of Egypt, and 
now from the Land of Promise. I would have written from Jeru- 
salem, hut our departure was so hurried, owing to an increase of 
the awful disease of the plague, that I could not accomplish it. 
Indeed, I thought it would be more for the pleasure and advan- 
tage of all my friends if I spent my time in fully seeing the won- 
ders of the City of the Great King. It is all deeply graven or 
my memory and my heart. The first sight of Jerusalem made 
my heart sink within me — it was so desolate ; the walls appeared 
so low, so dark, so poor. But better acquaintance with its deep 
valleys and singular hills, its trees and fountains, has made it 
appear one of the loveliest spots Jesus visited. There is a holy 
beauty about Jerusalem, for you cannot walk a step without re- 
membering the scenes that have passed there, and without looking 
forward to a time when it will again become the joy of the whole 
earth. You will be glad to know that I have stood all our great 
fatigues wonderfully, and even without being the worse of them, 
but rather the better. I may almost say I feel that God has been 
answering the continued prayer of those that love me ; still I am 
not yet what I was, though I hope to be. All my companions had 
the privilege of preaching in Jerusalem. I felt that it was kept 
from me, but that it was overflowing goodness that gave us to 
receive the broken bread and poured out wine, in an Upper Cham- 
ber, where Jesus first instituted it. I wish I could recount to you 
all that we have seen with our eyes, so as to make you almost see 
it all over again. Joy is increased by spreading it to others. 
Thus Christ's joy and glory are increased by making us partakers 
of it. Our life in the wilderness was a singular one. Since the 
day I wrote you we have never known the luxury of a bed. We 
spread our mats upon the sand, and God watches over us, when 
we are under the cover of our frail tent, as much as if it were 
within brazen gates and bars. We often hear the cry of the wolves 
at night, and there are many lynxes and hyenas in this very moun- 
tain ; but God keeps us safely. The burning heat of the desert — 
the long fatiguing journeys, sometimes twelve hours or fourteen 
in the day upon the camel — the insatiable thirst — and our weak- 
ness — were very trying to our faith and to our temper ; it proved 
us, and made us know what was in our heart. Ah ! dear friend, 
wherever we journey, union to Jesus and holiness from his Spirit 
flowing into us, is our chief and only hapj)iness. Never cease to 
show your people that to be holy is to be happy ; and that, to 
bring us to perfect holiness and likeness to God, was the very end 
for which Christ died. 


We entered the land of the PhiHstines 1st of June. You know 
the prophets say that the sea-coast there is to be " cottages for 
shepherds and folds for flocks." Zeph. ii. 6. It is really so. You 
cannot imagine a country more completely covered with flocks 
and herds — camels and asses, and oxen and sheep, and goats. 
The inhabitants are Arabs — a poor and ignorant race of men. 
How often we have wished for the Arabian tongue to preach 
to them the unsearchable riches of Christ. We passed like 
the spies through the valley of Eshcol. We came to a small Arab 
town, Bet-hanoon. For illustration I will draw it.* This will 
give you an idea of all Arab towns. Every roof is flat ; so that 
the people sit there, pray there, dry their corn and sift it there. 
There are no vines in Eshcol now, but immense bunches of grapes 
are still produced in some places of the Holy Land. The trees 
around the village are figs — a beautiful dark green tree. We are 
now tasting the first ripe figs, which are, like Jeremiah's, very 
good. We crossed the brook Sorek, quite dry ; indeed, I think 
we only met with one flowing stream between the desert and Je- 
rusalem. The streams in the south are all dry in the summer, (see 
Psalm cxxvi.) We slept that night beside a small town, which 
we take to be Eshtdol, near which Samson was boi'n. We saw 
there the brown tents of some Bedouin Arabs, illustrating Song i. 
— the brown tents of Kedar. This was in the tribe of Dan. Next 
day we went due east, across the vast plain Sephela, where Asa 
fought his battle, 2 Chron. xiv., till we entered among the lovely 
hills of Judah. A wonderful fulfilment of God's Word was pressed 
on our attention all that day. The quantities of weeds in the 
plains are quite remarkable, and all of them are of a briery, prick- 
ly nature. I counted eleven different kinds of thistle, some of 
them of gigantic size. In a field where barley had been sown, there 
were more of these thorns and briers than of the barley. Now 
turn to Isaiah xxxii. 13, " Upon the land of my people shall come 
up thorns and briers ;" and see how long (v. 15), " Until the 
spirit be poured upon us from on high." Indeed, every mountain 
and valley of this land is a witness for God, speaking silently 
but mightily, declaring that God's Word abideth forever. 

We arrived at Jerusalem on 7th June, and lighted oflfour camels 
within the Jaffa gate. The first thing that struck me was the 
quantity of various heaps. (See Micah iii. 12.) It was two or 
three days before we recovered our fatigues. The first time we 
went out was to the two pools of Gihon ; the upper pool still con- 
tains water. 

Again, we went to Mount Olivet. Winding round the noble 
walls at Jerusalem, Mount Olivet appears with its softly rounded 
triple point. It is a beautiful hill of very great extent. It is com- 
posed of a pure white limestone, which appears in many places, 

* Here he had sketched the village with his pen. He enlivened many of his let- 
ters with these outlines, that spoke moi-e expressively than words. 


and gives the whole a whitish appearance. Fine old olives adorn 
it on every side — fig-trees here and there — and pomegranates, 
with their beautiful deep red flowers. A monastery and a mosque 
are on the top, and three or four small towers on diflerent points 
ol' it. Crops of barley may be discerned here and there. It is 
altogether a pleasant hill. Between you and it lies the deep valley 
of Jehosaphat. The bed of the Kedron, quite dry, forms the low- 
est part. Going along by the east wall of Jerusalem till you are 
nearly opposite the place where the Temple stood (now the Mosque 
of Omar), you then descend the steep bank of Moriah to the 
Kedron. A small bridge now helps you to cross. Here David 
went, flying from Absalom barefooted. Here Jesus used to cross 
going to Gethsemane or to Bethany. The path before you leads 
right up the steepest part of Mount Olivet. It is a pleasant path. 
Turning every now and then, you see Jerusalem in all its faded 
glory, minarets and cupolas lying beneath you. Another path 
winds upwards round the hill to Bethany, the sweet vilhige of 
Martha and Mary, two miles ofl'. The little nook between these 
two paths forms all that remains of Gethsemane. It is a pleasant 
spot. No one that knows the Saviour can visit it, and look upon 
its eight old olive-trees, without feeling drawn to it. We tried to 
pray "there, where Jesus sweated blood for us. It was sweet to 
intercede for you and all we love in that sacred spot. Another 
favorite spot was the fountain of Siloam, farther down the valley 
of Jehosaphat. It flows so softly from under the Temple, that 
you cannot hear the ripple of its waters. You descend a great 
many steps in the rock, and drink its delightful waters. 1 send 
you a small hymn on the other side, which will imprint it on your 
memory. The valley of Hinnom is a deep gorge or vale to the 
south of Jerusalem. Mount Zion is actually ploughed like a field. 
It descends steeply into Hinnom, which again has a rocky barrier 
on the opposite side. Aceldama is a fearful spot above. 

We left Jerusalem on 18th June, and arrived here on 21st May. 
Many a pleasant scene we saw between. It is a delightsome 
land. One only I can mention — Sychar. It was a sweet even- 
ing when we entered the valley made by Ebal, a gloomy barren 
hill, and Gerizzim, a rocky hill, but garnished with gardens. The 
town lies beautiful between, keeping nearer to Gerizzim. The 
next morning we visited the synagogue. A. B. was in time lor 
the service at six o'clock. He had very interesting discussions 
with several of the Jews, all carried on in Hebrev^. You may 
believe we are not very fluent in the holy tongue, and yet it is 
wonderful how we get on. We visited the Samaritans also, and, 
after taking oft' our "shoes, we were admitted into their synagogue 
to see the MS. of the Pentateuch, 3600 years old. Andrew alone 
found out the well where Jesus sat. and dropped his Bible in by 
accident. The Jews here are far kinder and pleasanter than in 
Europe. They wear a beautiful dress. They are much fairer in 


color than the Arabs, and every way a more noble people ; and 
then, when you look your Bible, and see the promises that are 
waiting to be fulfilled to them, how does the heart fill towards 
them. God will yet gather them one by one. Pray still for their 
in-bringing. It is not easy to pray really for Israel : it needs you 
to have much of the peculiar mind of God. The same evening 
we visited Samaria, about six or eight miles north of Sychar. It 
is now a poor Arab village, but the finger of God is there. It is 
a hill surrounded by hills on all sides. Micah i. 6 is the clearest 
description of it. It is like an heap of the field. Just as you 
have seen the stones gathered out of a field into heaps, such is 
Samaria. The vast ruins are all thrown down, and form just 
heaps in the field. It is as the plantings of a vineyard. There 
is but one vine on the whole hill, but it is all terraced and cleared, 
just as if it were to be planted with vines. " And I will pour," 
&c. This is wonderfully fulfilled. It filled me with holy awe to 
look at the heaps of stones — fragments of pillars all rolling down 
into the valley. The foundations are actually discovered. What 
a monument of the truth of God ! I have only time to commend 
you to God, and to say — brother, pray for us. Yours ever, &c. 
P. S. — Commend me to your true yoke-fellow, Mr. Smith, and 
to Mr. Gillies, and to Mr. Baxter. I cease not to mention all in 
my prayers, and hope that they do not forget me. " We are 
made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confi- 
dence firm unto the end." 


Inquiries about the Reyival on first coming home. 

20 Hill Street, Edinburgh, 
Ibth November, 1839. 

My dear Friend and Brother — I last night arrived once more 
in my beloved home, conducted through every danger by the un- 
seen hand of our Father in Heaven. I cannot lose a moment in 
writing you a few lines. It was not till we arrived in Ham- 
burgh, that we heard anything of what has been doing in our be- 
loved land for the last five months. There we heard only a rumor 
that God had visited his people in love, and those also that were 
Lo-Ammi. You may believe that it was with a thankful, joyful 
spirit that we read of these things. I cannot rest till I hear from 
you what has been done among my own dear flock. I do not like to 
impose a task on you ; but if you have an hour's leisure, it would 
be truly gratifying to me to hear from you, before I come over, a 
minute account of all that God seems to have wrought in Dundee 
during my absence. You remember it was the prayer of my heart 
when we parted, that you might be a thousand fold more blessed 


to the people than ever my ministry had been. How it will glad- 
den my heart, if you can really tell me that it has been so. My 
poor, dear flock, hard-hearted, and stiff-necked as they were, if 
the Lord has really opened their hearts, and brought them to a 
saving knowledge of Christ, and if their hearts and lives are to- 
gether changed, I will bless God while I have any being. 

The work at Kilsyth seems to be owned by all God's true ser- 
vants as not the work of man but indeed divine. What a great 
joy to you and to your excellent father to have your labors thus 
honored of God. The Lord preserve you both Irom all the per- 
sonal danger to your own souls which such success exposes 
you to ! 

I must not write much, having agreed to preach on Sabbath. 
I would often have written you when away, but you know my 
weakness, and I was always uncertain as to your movements. 
Do write me if you have time. Tell me all the good and all the 
bad. I know well that when Christ is nearest, Satan also is 
busiest. What of my elders ? Of my dear established Chris- 
tians ? What of those who were but lambs ? And what of those 
whom I left in darkness and in the shadow of death ? 

The Lord send me good news. 

I shall try to be over on Thursday evening next, if I am well, 
and trust to join you in praising God together for all his mercy, 
and grace, and faithfulness, since we parted. Whether I shall be 
able to resume the full work of the ministry again or no, I can- 
not tell. My heart still beats too much. But I shall try ; and if 
the Lord shows me that my work in that way is done, I shall pray 
for submission. 

Do write me speedily, for I weary to hear. 

With regard to temporal things, remember I shall expect you 
honestly to tell how far your small salary has gone to cover your 
expenses. And if it has not covered them, remember I insist on 
your demanding as much more as will. The workman is worthy 
of his hire. 

And now the Lord keep you humble and prayerful in secret, 
and may it not be needful that you be alllicted as I have been ; 
and may your ministry be blessed still a thousand times more ! 
With kindest love to all my people, yours aflectionately, &c. 


Biches >t Christ — resemblance to Uim. 

Edinburgh, February 26, 1S4Q 

My dear Miss Collier, — I am sorry to leave town without 
seeing you, but I find myself obliged to do so. A long and in- 
teresting meeting of Presbytery took up the greater part of my 


time. I am delighted to hear that you are still keeping a little 
better, and fondly hope the Lord may restore you to us once 
more, to help us by your prayers in these trying but glorious 
times. I would like to have seen you once again before going 
back, but I must just content myself with casting you on the 
Lord on whom you believe. Precious friend and unchangeable 
priest, is Christ — sweeter to you than honey and the honeycomb. 
How great is the goodness he hath laid up for them that fear 
him ! Just as the miser lays up money that he may feast his eyes 
upon it, so Christ has laid up unsearchable riches, that he may 
supply all our need out of them. Unfathomable oceans of grace 
are in Christ for you. Dive and dive again, you will never come 
to the bottom of these depths. How many milUons of dazzling 
pearls and gems are at this moment hid in the deep recesses of the 
ocean caves ! But there are unsearchable riches in Christ. Seek 
more of them. The Lord enrich you with them. I have always 
thought it a very pitiful show when great people ornament them- 
selves with brilliants and diamonds ; but it is the truest wisdom to 
adorn the soul with Christ and his graces. " Can a maid forget 
her ornaments, or a bride her attire, yet my people have forgotten 
me, days without number." You see my pen runs on, though I 
fear you will hardly be able to read what I write. The Lord 
Jesus give you out of his fulness, and grace for grace. In a 
mirror you will observe that every feature of the face is reflected 
— both the large and small features. Now our soul should be a 
mirror of Christ ; we should reflect every feature ; for every 
grace in Christ there should be a counterpart grace in us. The 
Lord give you this ; then I can ask no more for you. Your 
times are in his hand. Psalm xxxi. May you have the blessing 
of Asher, " As thy days so shall thy strength be." 

Farewell till we meet. Kindest regards to Miss N. and Mrs 
Coutts, and believe me ever yours in lasting bonds, &c. 

How to conduct prayer-meetings. 

March 27, 1840. 
My dear John — I was glad to receive your letter and am 
happy to answer you on the matter in which you apply to 
me. No person can be a child of God without living in secret 
prayer ; and no community of Christians can be in a lively con- 
dition without unity in prayer. In Daniel's time you see how it 
was. (Dan. ii. 17, 18.) You see what Jesus said to his disciples 
on it. (Mat. xviii. 19,) and what a sweet promise of his presence 
and a gracious answer he connects with meeting for prayer. 
You see how it will be in the latter day, (Zech. vii. 21,) when 

206 LETTEHa. 

meetings for prayer, or, at least, concerts for prayer, shall be held 
by (liilerent towns. One great rule in holding them is, that they 
be really meetings of disciples. If four or five of you, that 
know the Lord, would meet together regularly, you will find that 
far more profitable than a meeting open to all. In an open meet- 
ing you are apt to become teachers, and to be proud. In a se- 
cret meeting you feel all on a level, poor and needy, seeking wa- 
ter. If a young man, acquainted with any of you, becomes con- 
.cerned about his soul, or a lively Christian is visiting any of 
you, these may be admitted; but do not make your meeting more 

The prayer-meeting I like best, is where there is only praise 
and "prayer, and the reading of God's Word. There is then least 
room for frail human nature to pervert the meeting to an im- 
proper end. It is well to read regularly through a book of Scrip- 
ture, or at least to fix the chapter the evening before, that it may 
be prayed over in secret, before coming to the meeting. If you 
only read, then two chapters may be I'ead, and then two members 
pray at a meeting. Each member would lake his turn. Let 
there be no presiding of one over another, for all are brethren. 
Wiien a godly minister, or elder, or experienced Christian is visi- 
ting you, he should be invited to take the whole service. 

Many meetings are not contented with merely reading God's 
Word, they fix upon some verse or two as matter of conversation, 
and each one gives his opinion round. Some take a question of 
the Shorter Catechism each evening, and speak on it in the same 
manner. Some propose cases of conscience, and how Christians 
ought to act in different cases. Now, I never forbid any of these 
where the members prefer this ; still, I must confess I feel the 
danger to which they are exposed. You require more grace to 
be kept humble and meek, and loving, if you engage in this ser- 
vice. You are exposed to the danger of differing from one ano- 
ther — disputing, seeking admiration and pre-eminence, to all 
which you know, dear John, your hearts are naturally most prone. 
If you choose any of these, the first appears the best, that of fixing 
on a verse or two of the chapter read. But do seek meekness in 
speaking together upon it. Meet weekly, at a convenient hour. 
Be regular in attendance. Let nothing keep you away from 
your meeting. Pray in secret before going. Let your prayers 
in the meeting be formed as much as possible upon what you 
have read in the Bible. You will thus learn variety of petition, 
and a Scripture style. Pray that you may pray to God, and not 
for the ears of man. Feel his presence more than man's. Pray 
for the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church of Christ and for the 
world — for the purity and unity of God's children — for the raising 
up of godly ministers, and the blessing of those that aie already. 
Pray for the conversion of your friends, of your neighbors, of the 


whole town. Pray for the sending of the gospel to the Jews, and 
to the Gentile nations. 

Pride is Satan's wedge for splitting prayer-meetings to pieces 
— watch and pray against it. If you have not the spirit of God 
among you, you will have the spirit of the devil. Watch against 
seeking to be greater than one another; watch against Hp-re- 
ligion. Above all, abide in Christ, and he will abide in you. He 
is able to keep you from falling, and to make you happy, holy 
young men. There is no joy like that of holiness. May Enoch's 
companion be yours. 

W] ite me how you come on, and believe me ever yours affec- 
tionately, &c. 


How cares and troubles sanctify. 

March 31, 1840. 

Dear M. — I may not see you for a little, as I am not strong ; 
and, therefore, I send you a line in answer to your letter. I like 
to hear from you, and especially when God is revealing himself to 
your soul. All his doings are wonderful. It is, indeed, amazing 
hov/ he makes use of affliction to make us feel his love more. 
Your house is, I trust, in some measure like that house in Bethany 
of which it is said, " Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and 
Lazarus." They had different degrees of grace. One had more 
faith and another more love, still Jesus loved them all. Martha 
was more inclined to be worldly than Mary, yet Jesus loved them 
both. It is a happy house when Jesus loves all that dwell in it. 
Surely it is next door to heaven. 

The message of Martha and Mary to Christ (John xi. 3) teaches 
you to carry all your temporal as well as your spiritual troubles 
to his feet. Leave them there. Carry one another's case to 
Jesus. Is It not a wonderful grace in God to have given you 
peace in Christ, before laying you down on your long sick-bed. 
It would have been a wearisome lie if you had been an enemy to 
God, and then it would have been over hell. Do you feel Rom. 
y. 3. to be true in your experience ? You cannot love trouble for 
Its ov/n sake ; bitter must always be bitter, and pain must always 
be pam. God knows you cannot love trouble. Yet for the bless- 
ings that It brings, he can make you pray for it. Does trouble 
work patience in you ? Does it lead you to cling closer to the 
Lord Jesus— to hide deeper in the rock ? Does it make you " be 
still and know that he is God ?" Does it make you lie passive in 
his hand, and know no will but His ? Thus does patience work 
experience— an experimental acquaintance with Jesus. Does it 
bring you a fuller taste of his sweetness, so that you know whom 


you have believed ? And df)es this experience give you a furthei- 
hope of glory — another anchor cast within the veil ? And does 
this hope give you a heart that cannot be ashamed, because con- 
vinced that God has loved you, and will love you to the end ? 
Ah! then you have got the improvement of trouble, if it has led 
you thus. Pray for me still, that I may get the good of all God's 
dealings with me. Lean all on Jesus. Pray tor a time of the 
pouring out of God's spirit, that many more may be saved. I 
hope the Lord's work is not done in this place yet. Ever your 
affectionate pastor, &c. 


Looking out to Jesus. — Colos. ii. 1, 2. 

March 20, 1840. 

My dear Friend — I do not even know your name, but I think 
I know something of the state of your soul. Your friend has 
been with me, and told me a little of your mind ; and I write a 
few lines just to bid you look to Jesus and live. Look at Num- 
bers xxi. 9, and you will see your disease and your remedy. 
You have been bitten by the great serpent. The poison of sin is 
through and through your whole heart, but Christ has been lifted 
up on the cross that you may look and live. Now, do not look 
so long and so harassingly at your own heart and feelings. What 
will you find there but the bite of the serpent ? You were shapen 
in iniquity, and the whole of your natural life has been spent in 
sin. The more God opens your eyes, the more you will feel that 
you are lost in yourself. This is your disease. Now for the re- 
medy. Look to Christ ; for the glorious Son of God so loved 
lost souls, that he took on him a body and died for us — bore our 
curse, and obeyed the law in our place. Look to him and live. 
You need no preparation, you need no endeavors, you need no 
duties, you need no strivings, you only need to look and live. 
Look at John xvii. 3. The way to be saved is to know God's 
heart and the heart of Jesus. To he awakened, you need to 
know your own heart. Look in at your own heart, if you wish 
to know your lost condition. See the pollution that is there — 
forgetfulness of God, deadness, insensibility to his love. If you 
are judged as you are in yourself, you will be lost. To he. saved, 
you need to know the heart of God and of Christ. The four 
Gospels are a narrative of the heart of Christ. They show his 
compassion to sinners and his glorious work in their stead. If 
you only knew that heart as it is, you would lay your weary 
head with John on his bosom. Do not take up your time so much 


with studying your own heart as with studying Chrisfs heart. 
" For one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ." 

Look at Romans xv. 13. That is my prayer for you. You are 
looking for peace in striving, or peace in duties, or peace in re- 
forming your mind ; but ah ! look at his word. " The God of 
hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing" All your 
peace is to be found in believing God's Word about his Son. If 
for a moment you forget your own case altogether, and meditate 
on the glorious way of salvation by Christ for us, does your 
bosom never glow with a ray of peace ? Keep that peace ; it is 
joy in believing. Look as straight to Christ as you sometimes do 
at the rising or setting sun. Look direct to Christ. 

You fear that your convictions of sin have not been deep 
enough. This is no reason for keeping away from Christ. You 
will never get a truly bi'oken heart till you are really in Christ. 
See Ezekiel xxxvi. 25-3L Observe the order: First, God sprin- 
kles clean water on the soul. This represents our being washed 
in the blood of Christ. Then he gives " i new heart also." 
Thirdly, he gives a piercing remembrance of past sins. Now, 
may the Lord give you all these ! May you be brought as 
you are to the blood of the Lamb ! Washed and justified, may 
he change your heart — give you a tender heart, and his Holy 
Spirit within your heart, and thus may he give you a broken 
heart for your past sins. 

Look at Romans v. 19. By the sin of Adam, many were 
made sinners. We had no hand in Adam's sin, and yet the guilt 
of it comes upon us. We did not put out our hand to the apple, 
and yet the sin and misery have been laid at our door. Jn the 
same way, " by the obedience of Christ, many are made right- 
eous." Christ is the glorious one who stood for many. His per- 
fect garment is sufficient to cover you. You had no hand in his 
obedience. You were not alive when he came into the world 
and lived and died ; and yet, in the perfect obedience, you may 
stand before God righteous. This is all my covering in the sight 
of a holy God. I feel infinitely ungodly in myself — in God's eye, 
like a serpent or a toad — and yet, when I stand in Christ alone, 
I feel that God sees no sin in me, and loves me freely. The same 
righteousness is free to you. It will be as white and clean on 
your soul as on mine. O do not sleep another night without it! 
Only consent to stand in Christ, not in your poor self. 

I must not weary you. One word more. Look at Rev. xxii. 
17. Sweet, sweet words. " Whosoever will, let him take of the 
water of life freely." The last invitation in the Bible, and the 
freest — Christ's parting word to a world of sinners ! Any one 
that pleases may take this glorious way of salvation. Can you 
refuse it ? I am sure you cannot. Dear friend, be persuaded by 
a fellow- worm not to put off another moment. Beheld the Lamb 
of God, that taketh away the sins of the world. 

VOL. 1. 14 


You are sitting, like Hagar, within reach of the well. May 
the Lord open your eyes, and show you all that is in Christ ! I 
pray for you, that you may spiritually see Jesus and be glad^ 
that you may go to him and find rest. Farewell. Yours in the 
L )rd, &c. 


A minister'a afflictions to be improved. 

June 10, 1840. 

My dear Brother — I am truly thankful that you have been 
raised up again — renewed, I trust, both in the inner and outer 
man. " I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring 
you into the bond of the covenant." Sweet rod that drives the 
soul into such a precious resting place ! " I will visit their iniquity 
with stripes ; nevertheless, my loving kindness I will not take 
from him." This has been the experience of the greater part of 
my life, at least of my spiritual lite. Remember Edwards' mag- 
nificent resolution, " Resolved to improve afflictions to the utter- 
most." Spread the sail when the breeze of adversity blows, and 
let it drive your vessel onwards on its course. 

When I was laid aside from the ministry, I felt it was to teach 
me the need of prayer for my people. I used often to say. Now 
God is teaching me the use of prayer. 1 thought I would never 
forget the lesson, yet I fear 1 am grown slack again when in the 
midst of my work. 

All these remarks I have transferred to myself that you may 
learn in the same things. Exhort one another daily. I\Iy object 
in writing now, is to say that I have engaged to be at Collessie 
next Wednesday, at Alloa on Thursday, and at Errol on Sabbath 
week. Now the people here were disappointed by your not ap- 
pearing lately ; and it would be very gratifying, if you are not 
better engaged, if the Lord would direct your steps towards us. 
If you would take both Thursday and the Sabbath it would be 
pleasant to me. I have been weakened a little by the hard la- 
bors of the Assembly, but I trust to recruit shortly for our glo- 
rious warfare. I feel there are two things it is impossible to de- 
sire with sufficient ardor — personal holiness, and the honor of 
Christ in the salvation of souls. 

The Lord give you both more than he has given me, and may 
he send you to us if it be his will. Send me a line quickly and 
believe me, ever yours in sweet bonds, &c. 

LETTERS. 21 i 

Before his ordination as missionary to the Jews — What he must seek. 

Dundee, Ju7ie 15. 1840. 
My dear Friend — * * * The grand matter of study, how- 
ever, must still be Divinity — a knowledge of Divine things, a 
spiritual discernment of the way of pardon for the chief of sin- 
ners. I feel that the best of ministers are but babes in this, Pray 
for more knowledge of your own heart — of the total qepravity 
of it — of the awful depths of corruption that ai-e there. Pray for 
glorious discoveries of Christ — his person, beauty, work, and 
peace. But I need not tell you these things, only I leel persuaded 
that God will put all natural and literary qualifications in the dust, 
if there be not the simple exhibition of Christ for us in the preach- 
ing of our missionaries. Yours, &c. 


Holiness and success. 

Dundee, October 2, 1340. 

My dear Friend — I trust you will have a pleasant and profita- 
ble time in Germany. I know you will apply hard to German; 
but do not forget the culture of the inner man — I mean of the 
heart. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean 
and sharp ; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Re- 
member you are God's sword — his instrument — I trust a chosen 
vessel unto him to bear his name. In great measure, according 
to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the suc- 
cess. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness 
to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of 
God. ' I am now almost well, but have not yet got my full strength. 
We had a sweet night last night, though there was no external 
movement. Some waited after ; one from St. Andi-ews, awak- 
ened deeply, she knows not how. God is still working here, and 
I look for far greater things. I am very anxious to know how I 
could do more good to many people and to the whole world — and 
not'to know only, but to do it. It is our truest happiness to live 
entirely for the glory of Christ — to separate between " I" and 
" the glory of Christ." We are ahvays saying, what have / done 
— was it mi/ preaching — my sermon — my influence ; whereas we 
should be asking, what hath God wrought 1 Strange mixed beings 
we are ! How sweet it will be to drop our old man, and be pure 
as Christ is pure. I hope you will come and see us again before 
your departure for your mission station. The Lord direct all 
your steps, comfort your heart, and establish you in every good 
word and work to do his will. Yours, &c. 



VThen ioTited to re«t a while. 

Dundee, Junt, 3S40. 

My dear Mrs. T. — You know how glad I would be of some 
•ucli retreat as Elijah had by the brook Cherith, where I might 
learn more of my own heart, and of my Bible, and of my God, 
where I might while away the summer hours in quiet meditation, 
or talking of his righteousness all the day long. But it is only 
said of the dead in the Lord that they rest from their labors ; and 
I fear I must not think of resting till then. Time is short, my time 
especially, and souls are precious; and I fear many are slumber- 
ing because I watch not with sufficient diligence, nor blow the 
trumpet with sufficient clearness. 

I have to be away so much on business, that I feel I dare not 
be away on pleasure only — at least at present. I rather think I 
must be in Ireland next week, at the Synod of Ulster, which pre- 
vents me coming to Mr. Macdonald's communion. 

There is some request as to another communion in St. Peter's 
also, which I shall be glad to see carried into effect, provided it 
be done with all the heart of the Lord's children. In these cir- 
cumstances, you must not think me neglectful of your kindness, 
if I put off my visit to you a little longer. 

I trust that you are keeping strong, and able to enjoy the open 
air, and that your souls all prosper — that you have often such 
times as Jacob had at Mahanaim, when the angels of God met 
him — or such times as that at Peniel, when God had to cry out, 
" Let me go, for the day breaketh." Alas, we do not weary God 
now with our wrestlings, but with our sins. The dark clouds 
gather, and the Church and we should all be entering into our 
chambers, and shutting our doors upon us. " In that day sing ye 
unto her a vineyard of red wine." His song will be with us in 
the dark night. May you and yours be hid in the day of the 
Lord's anger! A smile of his can lighten up a thunder-cloud. 

Read the xxix. Psalm, and meditate on the last verse. Live 
near to God, and so all things will appear to you little in compari- 
gon with eternal realities. Ever yours, &c. 

Intended to lead on one whose face was Zionward, but who was not Ailly decided. 

Dundee, Jult/, 1S40. 
My DEAR Friend — I do not even know your name, but your 
cousin has been telling me about your case, and wishes me to 
write you a line inviting you to lay hold on Jesus Christ, the only 


refuge for a perishing soul. You seem to have been thinking se- 
riously of your soul for some time. Do remember the words of 
Peter, (2 Peter i. 10,) " Give diligence to make your calling and 
election sure." Never rest till you can say what John says, 
(1 John v. 19,) "TFe know that we are of God." The world al- 
ways loves to believe that it is impossible to know that we are 
converted. If you ask them, they will say, " I am not sure — 1 
cannot tell ;" but the whole Bible declares we may receive, and 
know we have received the forgiveness of sins. See Psalm 
xxxii. 1 ; 1 John ii. 12. Seek this blessedness — the joy of having 
forgiveness ; it is sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. But 
where shall I seek it ? In Jesus Christ. " God hath given to us 
eternal life, and this life is in his Son." " He that hath the Son, 
hath life, and he that hath not the Son, hath not life," 1 John v. 10. 
Get deeply acquainted with yourself, your sins, and misery. 
Most people are like the Laodiceans, Rev. hi. 17. Even those 
that are most deeply concerned about their souls, do not see the 
millionth part of the blackness of their hearts and lives. Oh ! if 
we could but put our sins where God puts them. Psalm xc. 8, 
how we would cry out. Unclean, unclean ! Woe is me, for I am 
undone ! Have you ever discovered your lost condition ? Many 
know that they are great sinners, but where God is teaching he 
will make you feel as an undone sinner. Have you felt this ? 
What things were gain to you, those do you count loss for Christ. 
Do you know that no human righteousness can cover you ? In 
his holy, pure sight, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Isaiah 
Ixiv. 6. If you have been convinced of sin, have you been con- 
vinced of righteousness ? John xvi. 8. Have you heard the 
voice of Jesus knocking at the door of your heart ? Have you 
opened the door and let him in ? Awfully momentous question ! 
Your eternity depends upon the answer — yes or no. " He that 
hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life." 
Oh ! what a simple thing the Gospel is ! How fearful to think it 
is hid from so many, 2 Corinth, iv. 3, 4. Jesus stands at your 
door willing to be your shield. Psalm Ixxxiv. 9, 11 — your right- 
eousness, Jer. xxiii. 6 — your all in all. Now, then, throw open 
the door and let him in. Accept his white raiment that you may 
be clothed. And oh ! remember, if Christ justifies you, he will 
sanctify you. He will not save you and leave you in your sins. 
Why did he get the name Jesus ? Mat. i. 21. Here is a prayer 
for every one that has been found of Christ. " Order my steps 
in thy Word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me." 
Psalm cxix. 133. If you are redeemed, you are not your own — 
not the world's — not Satan's. Think of this when you are tempt- 
ed to sin. Now, did I not say well that you should make your 
calling and election sure ? Oh, beware of being a hypocrite — a 
mere professor with an unholy heart and life. That your sister 
is on the road to Zion, I am glad, and pray that you may go hand 


in hand. Be diligent — the time is short. Try and persuade 
your I'riends to go with you. It is an awful thing to separate at 
the throne of Christ, for that will be for eternity. Pray much for 
the Holy Spirit to open your eyes — to soften your heart — to 
make Christ lovely and precious — to come and dwell in your 
hearts, and fit you for glory. C/ome to the living stone, and you 
will be built up as living stones, 1 Peter ii. 4, 5. Oh ! how sweet 
to be made living stones, in that glorious temple. Pray much in 
secret. Pray for ministers, that we may speak the word boldly. 
Christ is doing great things in our day, which should make us 
wrestle at a throne of grace. O that the Lord, that was pierced 
with many thorns, might soon be crowned with many crowns ! 

Praying that you and your sister may both be saved, I am, 
your friend in the gospel, &c. 

TO MISS A. s. L. 
The person and heart of Jesus— Consolation to belieTers. 

Aug^ist 16, 1840. 

My dear Friend — I fear I may not be able to see you for a 
little time, and therefore think of sending you a few lines to min- 
ister a little of the peace and grace of the Lord Jesus to you. I 
hear that you are w'orse in health than when I saw you, still I 
have no doubt you can say, " It is well," '• He doeth all things 
well." You remember Jacob said, when they wanted to take 
Benjamin away from him, " All these things are against me." 
Gen. xlii. 3G. But in a little while he saw that " all these things 
were working together for good to him." In a little while all 
his lost children were restored to him, and he and his seed pre- 
served from famine. So will it be with you. If at any time un- 
belief steals over your heart — if you lose sight of Jesus, our Pass- 
over sacrificed for us — if you forget the hand of the all-tender 
gracious Father of Jesus and of your soul — you will be crying 
out, all these things are against me. But ah ! how soon you will 
find that every thing in your history, except sin, has been /b?' you. 
Every wave of trouble has been wafting you to the sunny shores 
of a sinless eternity. Only believe. Give unlimited credit to 
our God. 

Think on Jesus when your mind wanders in search of peace — 
think where he came from — from the bosom of his Father. He 
was from the beginning. He is the life — the life of all that truly 
live. He is that eternal life which was with the Father. Let ihe 
beams of the divinity of Jesus shine in upon your soul. Think 
how he was manifested — God manifest in the flesh — to be a surety 
for sinners. Made sin for us, although he knew no sin — made 
a curse for us. Oh, if I could declare him unto you, you might 


have fellowship with apostles, and with the Father, and with his 
Son, Jesus Christ. These things will we write unto you, that 
your joy may be full. Other joys do not fill the heart. But to 
know the Lord Jesus as our surety, satisfies the soul ; it brings 
the soul unto rest under the eye of our pardoning God. I met,* 
the other day, with a thought which has filled my heart often 
since. It is intended to explain that wonderful verse, John 
xiv. 18, I will not leave you orphans — I will come to you. Jesus, 
at the right hand of the Father, is yet present with all his younger 
brethren and sisters in this vale of weeping. His human nature 
is at the right hand of God upon the throne — a lamb as it had 
been slain. But his divine nature is unlimited, fills all worlds, and 
is present in every dwelling of every disciple in this world. His 
Divine nature thus brings in continual information to his human 
heart of every thing that is going on in the heart and history of 
his people ; so that his human heart beats towards us just as if he 
were sitting by our side. Hence he cried to Saul, " Why perse- 
cutest thou me ?" 

Dear friend, do you feel that Jesus is your surety and elder 
brother ? Then remember that, by reason of his real divinity, he 
is now by your bedside, afflicted in all your afflictions, touched 
with a feeling of your infirmities, and able to save you to the 
uttermost. He is as really beside you as he was beside Mary 
when she sat at his feet. Tell him all your sorrows, al\ your 
doubts and anxieties. He has a willing ear. Oh, what a friend 
is Jesus ! the sinner's friend. What an open ear he has for all 
the wants, doubts, difficulties of his people. He has an especial 
care for his sick, weakly, and dying disciples. You know how 
it is with a kind mother, even though a worldly person. In a 
time of danger she clasps her children to her breast. In a time 
of health she may often let them wander out of her sight, but in 
hours of sickness she will watch beside their bed. Much more 
will Jesus watch over you. 

I trust you feel real desire after complete holiness. This is the 
truest mark of being born again. It is a mark that he has made 
us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. If a nobleman 
were to adopt a beggar boy, he would not only feed and clothe 
him, but educate him, and fit him to move in the sphere into 
which he was afterwards to be brought ; and if you saw this boy 
filled with a noble spirit, you would say he is meet to be put 
among the children. So may you be made meet for glory. The 
farmer does not cut down his corn till it is ripe. So does the 
Lord Jesus : He first ripens the soul, then gathers it into his barn. 
It is far better to be with Christ than to be in Christ. For you to 
live is Christ, and to die is gain. Nevertheless, I trust God will 
keep you a little longer for our sake, that you may pray for us, 
and encourage us to work on in the service of Jesus till our change 
♦ It was in a sermon by J. B. Patterson of Falkirk. 


come. I began this letter about two weeks ago, and now send it 
away to you. I was called very suddenly to Edinburgh, and 
then sent to the north, and am just returned again, so that I did 
not get it sent away. I will try and see you this week, if it be 
the will of God. However, you must not be disappointed if I am 
prevented. I pray for you, that, according as your day is, so 
your strength may be. Keep your eye upon Jesus and the un- 
searchable riches that are in him ; and may the gentle Comforter 
fill your soul, and give you a sweet foretaste of the glory that is 
to follow. May he leave his deep eternal impress upon your soul, 
not healing you and going away, but abiding within you, keeping 
the image of Christ in your heart, ever fresh and full — Christ in 
you the hope of glory. The Comforter is able to fill you with 
calmness in the stormiest hour. May he fill your whole soul and 
transform you into a child of light. Good-bye till we meet, if it 
be the Lord's will. If not in this world, at least before the throne, 
casting our crown at his feet. Ever yours in the gospel, &c. 


Awakenings— Personal holiness in ministers. 

Dundee, Sept., 1340. 

My dear Brother — I have had a severe illness, or would have 
answered your kind note long befoi-e this. I fear you may have 
left Breadalbane before this can reach it ; still I write in hope. 
You may be sure I ever follow you with my prayers and earnest 
longings of heart that God may humble, purify, and make use of 
you to carry glad tidings of great joy to the inmost hearts of poor, 
guilty, perishing sinners, whei'ever you go. I have been much 
interested by all that I have heard of the good that has attended 
you in the north. I long to hear still more. The very name of 
Moulin stirs up the inmost depths of the heart, when I remember 
what great things the Lord Jesus did there of old. Do write to 
me when you have a moment, and stir me up. You know a word 
to a minister is worth a word to three or four thousand souls some- 
times. Nothing stirs me up so much to be instant and faithful as 
hearing of the triumphs of the Loi'd Jesus in other places. I am 
glad and thankful to say that we are not left quite desolate. 
There have been evident tokens of the presence of the Spirit of 
God among my dear people many nights — more I think upon the 
Thursday nights than on the Sabbaths. Some I have met with 
seemingly awakened without any very direct means. A good 
number of young mill-girls are still weeping after the Lord Jesus. 
1 have been out of my pulpit only one Sabbath, and I hope to be 
Dack to it next Sabbath, if the Lord will. 

What Mr. T. mentioned to you was true, of some having iol- 


lowed after an enthusiastic kind of man, who in my absence came 
among them. Doubtless Satan wanted to carry off some of the 
sheep, and succeeded so far. Still, I trust, it will end in good. 
Some have been a good deal humbled in the dust on account of 
it, and I have been roused up to cry for more knowledge how to 
guide them in the right way. I think, if strength were restored 
to me, I will try, in name of the Lord Jesus, to catechise through 
my parish. I ask your advice and prayers on this. If it could 
be conducted humbly, and with patience, and aptness to teach, I 
am persuaded it would tend to ground them more deeply in Divine 
things. Hypocrites also might be denounced and warned, and 
the unconverted pointedly dealt with. I feel the immense diffi- 
culty of it in a town, and such a neglected, ignorant one as this. 
Still, if God were with me, who can be against me ? 

Everything I meet with, and every day I study my Bible, makes 
me pray more that God would begin and carry on a deep, pure, 
wide-spread, and permanent work of God in Scotland. If it be 
not deep and pure, it will only end in confusion, and grieving 
away the Holy Spirit of God by irregularities and inconsistencies. 
Christ will not get glory, and the country generally will be 
hardened and have their mouths filled with reproaches. If it be 
not wide-spread, our God will not get a large crown out of this 
generation. If it be not permanent, that will prove its impurity, 
and will turn all our hopes into shame. I am much more afraid 
of Satan than I used to be. I learned a good deal by being with 
Gumming in Strathbogie. 

I am also deepened in my conviction, that if we are to be in- 
struments in such a work, we must be purified from all filthiness 
of the flesh and spirit. Oh, cry for personal holiness, constant 
nearness to God, by the blood of the Lamb. Bask in his beams — 
lie back in the arms of love — be filled with His spirit — or all success 
in the ministry will only be to your own everlasting confusion. 

You know how I have always insisted on this with you. It is 
because I feel the need thereof myself Take heed, dear friend ; 
do not think any sin trivial; remember it will have everlasting 
consequences. O, to have Brainerd's heart for perfect holiness — to 
be holy as God is holy — pure as Christ is pure — perfect as our 
Father in heaven is perfect. Oh ! what a cursed body of sin we 
bear, that we should be obliged by it to break these sweet gospel 
rules ! How much more useful might we be, if we were only 
more iree from pride, self-conceit, personal vanity, or some secret 
sin that our heart knows. Oh ! hateful sins, that destroy our 
peace, and ruin souls ! 

But I must be done I have not attained the full use of the 
pen. Go on, dear brother ; but an inch of time remains, and then 
eternal ages roll on forever — but an inch on which we can stand 
and preach the way of salvation to a perishing world. May he 
count us faithful, keeping us in the ministry. Ever yours, &c. 


Then laboring in Strathbogie ; on his being elected niinisterof Wallaeetown. 

Dundee, SepteTnber 18, 1840. 

My dear Friend — I cannot tell you how sincerely I thank 
God for the event of this evening. You are unanimously chosen 
minister of Wallaeetown. I have already been on my knees to 
praise God for it, and to pray that you may be filled with the Holy 
Spirit for this glorious work. I hope you will see your way 
clear in leaving your attached people at Botriphnie. Make good 
use of your last days among them. Warn every man. Take 
each aside, and tell him you will be a witness against him at the 
Last Day if he do not turn and obey the Gospel. The Lord give 
you a spiritual family in that place ; and may you come to us in 
the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ. I am per- 
suaded the Spirit of God is still remarkably present in this town. 
You could not become a minister in a more blessed season, or in 
a more promising field. O pray to be fitted for the arduous work. 
I was just praying this morning over Matt. ix. 36-38, and little 
thinking that God was about to answer so graciously. 

I have had a severe illness of late, and had been taught to look 
more toward the Church above. But I am better, and my heart 
warms again towards the Lord's work below. Now, farewell ! 
The Lord humble, empty, satisfy, and fill you — make you a Boan- 
erges and a Barnabas, all in one. May the Lord arise and his 
enemies be scattered ; and may poor parched Angus become like 
the garden of the Lord. Ever yours, &c. 


Prophecies concerning Israel —Reviyal — Conduct of studies. 

Dundee. September 16, 1S40. 

My dear Friend — It gives me great joy to be able to answer 
your kind letter, although I fear you have almost despaired of me. 
In writing your esteemed pastor, I mentioned to him my intention 
of writing you very soon ; but I have since then been .'aid down 
upon a sick bed by a severe feverish illness, from which lam now 
only recovering. Like you, my dear friend, God has seen it meet 
to *rain me often by the rod, and I have always found that he 
doeth all things well. Indeed, who would have his own health in 
his own guidance ? Ah ! how much better to be in his all-wise, 
all-powerful hand, who has redeemed us, and is making us vessels 
to hold his praise, now and in eternal ages. I have been only 
twice in the open air, and cannot yet manage the pen with facil- 
ity ; but 1 cannot delay writing to you any longer. You cannot 


tell how much real joy your letter gave me when you tell me of 
the dear brethren who meet along with you on Monday mornings, 
to read and pray concerning Israel. This is, indeed, a deUghtfuI 
fruit of my short visit among you, for which I give humble and 
hearty thanks to Him who has stirred up your hearts in what I 
have felt, by experience, to be his own blessed cause. I feel 
deeply persuaded, from prophecy, that it will always be difficult 
to stir up and maintain a warm and holy interest in outcast Israel. 
The lovers and pleaders of Zion's cause will, I believe, be always 
few. Do you not think this is hinted at in Jer. xxx. 13 ? " There 
is none to plead thy cause that thou mayst be bound up." And 
again, v. 14, " All thy lovers have forgotten thee ; they seek thee 
not." And is not this one of the very reasons why God will at 
last take up their cause? See v. 18, "I will restore health unto 
thee, because they called thee an Outcast, saying. This is Zion 
whom no man seeketh after." It is a sweet encouragement also 
to learn, that though the friends of Zion will probably be few, so 
that it may almost be said no one seeketh after her, yet there 
always will be some, who will keep watch over the dust of Jeru- 
salem, and plead the cause of Israel with God and with man. 
See Isa. Ixii. 6, 7. If any of your company know the Hebrew, you 
will see at once the true rendering, "I have set watchmen over 
thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day 
nor night. Ye that are the Lord's rememhancers keep not silence, 
and give him no rest till he establish and till he make Jeruselem a 
praise in the earth." Oh ! my dear brethren, into whose hearts I 
trust God is pouring a scriptural love for Israel, what an honor is it 
for us, worms of the dust, to be made watchmen by God over the 
ruined walls of Jerusalem, and to be made the Lord's remembran- 
cers, to call his own promises to his mind, that he would fulfil them, 
and make Jerusalem a blessing to the whole world ! Verse 1st is 
supposed to be the language of our Lord himself, our glorious advo- 
cate with the Father. O what an example does he set us of unwea- 
ried intercession ! Verse 2d shows the great effect which the con- 
version of Israel will have on the Gentile world. Verse 3d shows 
how converted Israel will be a glorious diadem in God's hand, held 
out to show forth his praise. Verse 4th shows that it is literal 
Israel that is spoken of, for there is a sweet promise to their land. 
I think you must take these two verses, 6, 7, as the motto of 
your praying society, not in boasting, but in all humility of mind, 
and with much self-upbraiding for the neglect of the past. Indeed, 
you will find it a difficult matter to keep your heart in tune really 
to desire the salvation of Israel, and the widely extended glory of 
the Lord Jesus. You must keep in close union to Jesus, and 
much in the love of God, and be much filled with the infinite, al- 
mighty spirit of God. He will help your infirmities. It is when 
you feel the sweetness of the kingdom of God within you, that you 
will truly fall down on your knees and pray, " Thy kingdom 


come." The possession of grace fills us with very different feel- 
ings from the possession of anything else. A man who has much 
money is not very anxious that all the world should be rich — one 
who has much learning does not long that all the world were 
learned ; but if you have tasted the grace of the gospel, the irre- 
sistible longing of your hearts will be, O that all the world might 
taste its regenerating waters ! And if it be true, as I think it is, 
that God's method of bringing in the kingdom is to be by the 
salvation of Israel, how can an enlightened, gracious soul but pray, 
" Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion ?" 

As to the mode of studying prophecy, dear friend, I am far 
from being a capable adviser. My advice, however, is, that you 
begin with the simple and more unquestioned parts, and then ad- 
vance to the more difficult ground. Begin with fulfilled pro- 
phecy — you will thus gain an intimate acquaintance with the lan- 
guage and manner of the prophetic writings. Then advance to 
tlie marks of unfulfilled prophecy, and cautiously and prayerfully 
to those parts that are obviously unfulfilled. This would be a 
most interesting course, and, if humbly followed out, cannot but 
give you great light and interest in the cause of Israel, and the 
world's conversion. For fulfilled prophecy, you might follow the 
guidance of Keith on Fulfilled Prophecy, or Bishop Newton, or 

I am delighted to hear of the thank-offering you mention. It is 
sweet when thankfulness does not end in mere words, but in gifts 
to God and devotedness of our all to Him. I am happy to say 
that the Lord's cause seems still to advance in Scotland. On the 
very day I arrived from Ireland we had very sweet tokens of 
the presence of the Spirit of God in the congregation, and many 
Thursday evenings since. 

I have been in Strathbogie also, and seen some of the Lord's 
wonders there. He that hath the key of David has opened a door 
there, for the salvation of many souls. 1 am still as anxious as ever 
that God's work should be pure, and unmixed with error and 
Satanic delusions; and, therefore, when I pray for the revival of 
God's work, I always add that it may be pure and permanent. I 
have seen two awakened since I came home, with the use of 
hardly any means. If they shall turn out real conversions, I 
think I shall never despair of any. 

I trust that your own studies get on well, dear friend. Learn 
much of your own heart, and when you have learned all you can, 
remember you have seen but a few yards into a pit that is unfa- 
thomable. Jer. xvii. 9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked : who can know it ?" Learn much of 
the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at 
Christ. He is altogether lovely. Such infinite majesty, and yet 
such meekness and grace, and all for sinners, even the chief. 
Live much in the smiles of God. Bask in his beams. Feel his 


all-seeing eye settled on you in love, and repose in his almighty 
arms. Cry after divine knowledge, and lift up your voice for un- 
derstanding. Seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid 
treasure, according to the word in Pro v. ii. 4. See that v. 10 be 
fulfilled in you. Let wisdom enter into your hearts and know- 
ledge he pleasant to thy soul; so you will be delivered from the 
snares mentioned in the following verses. Let your sou! be 
filled with a heart-ravishing sense of the sweetness and excellency 
of Christ and all that is in Him. Let the Holy Spirit fill every 
chamber of your heart ; and so there will be no room for folly, or 
the world, or Satan, or the flesh. I must now commend you all 
to God and the word of his grace. My dear people are just assem- 
bled for worship. Alas ! I cannot preach to them to-night. I 
can only carry them and you on my heart to the throne of grace. 
Write me soon. Ever yours, &c. 


(Accompanied by notes on the Scripture Lesson that was to be taught in the classes that week.) 

Kelso, Feb. 24, 1841. 

My DEAR Friends and Fellow-laborers — I send you a few 
notes on the parable for next Sabbath evening. May you find 
them profitable. You cannot tell what a sweet comfort it is to 
me, when I am so far distant from my flock, to know that you are 
in the midst of the lambs, speaking to God for them, and speaking 
to them for God. I thank my God without ceasing for your work 
of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope. Be not weary 
in well-doing, dear friends, for in due season we shall reap, if we 
faint not. Do not be impatient — wait on the Lord. The bless- 
ing will come. Use a few spare half hours in seeking after the 
lambs on the week-days. This will prove to the parents that you 
are in earnest. To bring one child to the bosom of Christ would 
be reward for all our pains in eternity. Oh ! with what glowing 
hearts we shall meet in heaven those whom God has used us as 
humble instruments in saving ! Meditate on Phil. i. 8. And may 
the Loi'd meet with you and the lambs on Sabbath-day, and bless 
you, and do you good. 

Farewell, dear fellow-laborers. Ever your aflfectionate friend 
and pastor, absent in body, not in spirit, &c. 




Dundee, March 27, 1841. 

My nrAR Friend — I was happy indeed to receive your letter 
and the Rules of your Society, which interested me very much. 
I would have answered you sooner, but have been laid down by 
my heavenly Father on a bed of sickness, from which J am just 
recovering by his grace. Spared fig-trees should bear much fruit; 
pray that it may be so with me. Luther used to say that " temp- 
tations, afflictions, and prayer, made a minister." I do trust that 
your society may be greatly blessed, y??\s^, in the comforting, en- 
livening, and sanctifying of your own souls, and then in the bring- 
ing others to know the same fountain where you have found peace 
and purity. Let Jesus come in to your meetings and sit at the 
head of the table. It is a fragrant room when the bundle of myrrh 
is the chief thing there. Let there be no strife among you, but 
who to be lowest at his feet, who to lean their head most fully on 
his breast. Let all your conversations, meditations, and readings, 
lead you to the Lamb of God. Satan would divert your minds 
away to questions and old wives' fables, which gender strifes. 
But the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus — draws to Jesus — makes you 
cleave to the Lord Jesus with full purpose of heart. Seek ad- 
vance of personal holiness. It is for this the grace of God has 
appeared to you. See Titus ii. 11, 12. For this Jesus died — for 
this he chose you — for this he converted you, to make you holy 
men — living epistles of Christ — monuments of what God can do 
in a sinner's heart. You know what true holiness is. It is Christ 
in you the hope of glory. Let him dwell in you, and so all his 
features will shine in your hearts and faces. Oh ! to be like Jesus, 
this is heaven wherever it be. I think I could be happy among 
devils, if only the old man were slain in me, and I was made alto- 
gether like Jesus. But, blessed be God, we shall not be called to 
such a trial, for we shall not only be like Jesus, but be with Him to 
behold His glory. Pray to be taught to pray. Do not be con- 
tent with old forms that flow from the lips only. Most Christians 
have need to cast their formal prayers away, to be taught to cry, 
Abba. Arrange beforehand what you are to pray for. Do not 
forget confession of sin, nor thanksgiving. Pray to get your 
closed lips open in intercession — embrace the whole world and 
carry it within the vail. I think you might with advantage keep 
a small book in which you might mark down objects to be prayed 
for. I pray God to make you very useful in the parish and in the 
world. Do all things without murmurings and disputings ; see 
Phil. ii. 14, 16. Live for eternity. A few days more, and our 
journey is done. Oh ! fight hard against sin and the devil — the 


devil never sleeps. Be you also active for good. The Lord bless 
you and your dear minister. Pray for us. Pray for the dead 
Irishes around you. Ever yours, &c. 


Seek to know your corruption. 

Dundee, 184L 

Dear Friend— According to promise, I sit down to talk with 
you a little concerning the great things of an eternal world. How 
kind it is in God that he has given us such an easy way of com- 
municating our thoughts, even at a distance. My only reason for 
writing to you is, that I may direct your soul to Jesus, the sinner's 
friend. " This man receiveth sinners." I would wish much to 
know that you were truly united to Christ, and then, come life, 
come death, you will be truly and eternally happy. Do you think 
you have been convinced of sin ? This is the Holy Spirit's work, 
and his first work upon the soul, (John xvi. 8; Acts ii. 37 ; xxi. 29, 
30.) If you did not know your body was dangerously ill, you 
would never have sent for your physician; and so you will never 
go to Christ, the heavenly physician, unless you feel that your soul 
is sick even unto death. Oh ! pray for deep discoveries of your 
real state by nature, and by practice. The world will say you 
are an innocent and harmless girl ; do not believe them. The 
world is a liar. Pray to see yourself exactly as God sees you ; 
pray to know the worth of your soul. Have you seen yourself 
vile, as Job saw himself? Job xi. 3, 5 ; xiii. 5, 6 — undone, as Isaiah 
saw himself ? Isa. vi. 1,5. Have you experienced anything like 
Psalm li. ? I do not wish you to feign humility before God, nor to 
use expressions of self-abhorrence, which you do not feel ; but, O 
pray that the Holy Spirit may let you see the very reality of your 
natural condition before God. I seldom get more than a glance 
at the true state of my soul in its naked self. But, when I do, 
then I see that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, 
and naked ; Rev. iii. 17. I believe every member of our body 
has been a servant of sin — Romans iii. 13, 18 — throat, tongue, lips, 
mouth, feet, eyes. Every faculty of our mind is polluted ; Gen. 
vi. 5. Besides you have long neglected the great salvation ; you 
have been gainsaying and disobedient. Oh ! that you were brought 
to pass sentence upon yourself, guilty of all. Hear what a dear 
believer writes of himself — " My wickedness, as I am in myself, 
has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and swallowing up all 
thought and imagination, like an infinite deluge, or mountains over 
my head. I know not how to express better what my sins ap- 
pear to me to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multi- 
plying infinite by infinite. When I look into my heart and take a 


view of my wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deep, and 
yet it seems to me that my conviction of sin is exceedingly small 
and faint." Perhaps you will ask, why do you wish me to have 
such a discovery of my lost condition ? 1 answer, that you may 
be broken oflfrom all schemes of self-righteousness ; that you may 
never look into your poor guilty soul to recommend you to God ; 
and that you may joyfully accept of the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
obeyed and died for sinners. Oh! that your heart may cleave to 
Christ. May you forsake all and follow Jesus ('hrist. Count 
everything loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. 
You never will stand righteous beiore God in yourself. You are 
welcome this day to stand righteous before God in Jesus. Pray 
over Phil. iii. 7, 9. I will try and pray for you. Grace be with 
you. Your friend in Jesus, &c. 


Seek the righteouBness of Christ. 

Dear Friend — I was glad to hear of your safe arrival, and that 
your health had not suffered by the voyage. I trust the Lord is 
dealing gently with your frail body, so that your mind may get 
leave freely to fix itself on Jesus Christ and him crucified. Above 
all, 1 pray that the Holy Spirit may sweetly and silently open 
your heart, to relish the way of salvation through the blood and 
obedience of Immanuel. Through this man is preached unto you 
the forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified 
from all things ; Acts xiii. 38, 39. You would be deeply con- 
cerned to hear that your room-mate has been so suddenly 

and awfully called away. Should it not be a solemn warning to 
you? Oh, that you may be even now clothed in the righteous- 
ness of Jesus I so that, if you were called away, you may meet 
God in peace, and hear Jesus say, " Enter thou into the joy of thy 
Lord." In yourself you never will stand righteous before Jeho- 
vah. Psalm cxliii. 2, answers your case. " Enter not into judg- 
ment with me," must be your cry. In your nature, in your past 
life, in your breaking of the holy law, in your contempt and neg- 
lect of Jesus, in your indwelling sin, God can see nothing but 
what he must condemn. O that you v^^ould be of the same mind 
with God about your own soul ! Do not be afraid to look upon 
its loathsomeness ; for God ofters to clothe you in Jesus Christ, 
Romans v. 19. By the obedience of one shall many be made 
righteous. There is only one in all the world on whose face God 
can look and say, " He is altogether lovely." Jesus is that one. 
Now God is willing that you and I should hide in Jesus. I feel 
at this moment that he is my righteousness. Jer. xxiii. 6. This is 
his name whereby he shall be called, " the Lord our righteousness.* 


I feel that the love of God shines upon my guilty soul through Jesus. 
This is all my peace. Your tears will not blot out sin; they do no- 
thing but weep in hell, but that does not justify them. Your right 
views of the gospel will not justify you ; you must be covered with 
a spotless righteousness. Your change of heart and of life will not 
justify you ; it cannot cover past sins — neither is it perfect. Your 
amended life is still fearfully sinful in Jehovah's sight, and yet 
noth ng but perfect righteousness can stand before him. Jesus 
offers you this perfect righteousness ; in him you may stand and 
hear God say, " Thou art all fair, my love." There is no spot in 
me. Do you thus look to Jesus ? Do you believe the record 
that God has given concerning him ? Do you receive Christ with 
open arms ? Do you cry, " My Lord and my God ;" my surety, 
my all ? Dear friend, do not tarry. Eternity may be near. Now 
is your best time, perhaps your only time, of closing with Christ. 
How many worlds would a lost soul in hell give for such an op- 
portunity of cleaving to Christ as you have now. " He that hath 
the Son, haih life." This is all my prayer and desire for your 
precious, precious soul. Ever yours m the gospel, &c. 

Joy in belieying 

Dear Friend — I send you another line to tell you Jesus is the 
way. I would like much to hear how your weak body prospers, 
and whether your soul is resting under the apple tree, (Song, ii, 3 ;) 
but till some opportunity occurs, I must just content myself with 
committing your soul and body into the hand of Jesus, your faith- 
ful Creator. 1 Peter iv. 19. We are now looking forward to 
another communion season, and I am busy instructing young per- 
sons for that holy and blessed ordinance. I think you said you 
were a good deal impressed at our last communion, and wished 
that you had been one of those seated at the table ; perhaps you 
may never be permitted to sit at the table on earth ; perhaps your 
first communion may be in glory. There is a text in Romans xv. 
13, which expresses all my desire for you, "Now the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound 
in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." You see here 
who is the author of conversion — " The God of hope." He must 
open your heart to attend to the things that are spoken. The 
truths that are presented to you will not convert your heart, the 
God of hope must breathe on your heart and water it oft. Then 
see how he gives you joy and peace — " in believing." When 
Jesus revealed himself to Thomas (John xx. 28), Thomas cried 
out with joy, '• My Lord and my God ;" if Jesus reveal himself to 
you in all the glory of his person — the completeness of his work, 

VOL. I. 15 


and the fieeness of his love — you too will be filled with appropri- 
ating, joyl'iil thilh. and will cry, "My Lord and my God." It is a 
ditliciilt thinsj; to explain what it is to believe — [ suppose it is un- 
poss l)le. Hilt when Jesus unveils his matchless beauty and gives 
you a Mwcet glimpse of his matchless face that was buffeted and spit 
up<^tn, then the soul joyfully clings to h m. This is believing, and 
this is joy and peace in believing. The truest, purest joy Hows 
from a discovery of Jesus Christ. He is the hidden treasure that 
gives such joy to the finder. Malth. xiii. 44. Do you think yon 
have found that tieasuie? Touching question I for if not, you 
are poor indeed. But how much joy may you have in Christ? 
"The God oi hope fill you with all joy." You need not be afraid 
to take the full joy that Jesus gives. If you really come unto 
Christ, you come unto the love of Jehovah, and that is a filling 
love. The love of the creature does not till the heart, but God's 
love coming full upon the soul gives fulness of joy (I John i. 4). 
It is holy love, sovereign love. I have been interrupted several 
times in writing this little note. I will not be long in writing you 
again. Do decide the question of your eternity. One thing is 
needful; Iiave you closed with the great ^Mediator? Have you 
got saving knowledge of Jesus? Tlien only will death lose its 
power, and the grave become the bed of peaceful rest. 

"There is alund of pnrc delight, 
AVhcrc saints iininortiil reign: 
Infinite day excludes the night, 
And pleasures b;wiish pain." 

Lean all your care for time and eternity on Jesus ; that in the 
softest of all pillows — the bosom of our guardian Immanuel. 
I am ever yours, &c. 


Taste that Christ is precious. 

Btcembcf. 1S41. 

Dear Friend — It is written, " Unto yoii who believe he is 
precious" and if you are a child of God you will know and feel 
w;hat the words mean. 1 Peter ii. 7. At one time Christ was 
" like a tender plant" to you, and Ike " a root out of a dry ground." 
You saw "no form nor comeliness in him, no beauty that you 
f-iiould desire him." At that time you were at ease in Zion — you 
had no concern for your soul. Do you remember that time ? Is 
ii otherwise with you now? Have you been jiricked in your 
heart by the Holy Spirit ? Have you been made to see how im- 
possible it is for man to be just with (Jod ? and has the Spirit 
drawn away the veil from the fair lace <jf Immanuel, and given 
you an unfeignetl glance at the brow that was crowned with the 
thorns, and the cheek from which they plucked off the hair ? Has 


the Spirit opened a window into the heart of Jesus, and let you see 
the fountain head of that love that " passeth knowledge?" Then 
you will be able to say, " To me He is precious." If you see 
plainly that all your standing before God is in him, that he is your 
foundation-stone — your fountain — your wedding garment, then 
you will feel him to be precious. Most people refuse to come to 
Christ. Read Luke xiv, H>. 24. They all with one consent began to 
make excuse. Why is this ? Just because they do not see and feel 
that he is precious. But, oh ! if you, my dear friend, feel that he is 
your only righteousness — your only fountain of living water — your 
high priest — your shepherd — your advocate ; then you will say, 
" //(? is prexious r You will never say, "Have me excused." I 
carry to you the sweet invitation, "Come, for all things are now 
ready." Jesus is ready to wash and clothe you in his own blood 
and righteousness. The Holy Spirit is ready to come into your 
heart and make it new. The Father is ready to put his arms round 
your neck and kiss you. Luke xv. 20. The angels are ready to 
give thanks f)r you and to love you as a sister for eternity. Now, 
will you come, for a// things are ready ? Are you now saying in 
your heart, "I cannot but believe I am the ch.ef of sinners, and 
Jesus otiers to be my refuge, my mediator, my all in all ; I feel he 
is precious ?" O dear friend, I trust you do. This only will make 
you happy in living, and blessed in dying. This is a poor dying 
world. Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of 
trouble. There is no part here that death cannot take from us. 
But if you have Christ, you have the only imperishable portion ! 
Oh I may the Holy Spirit give you a firm hold of Jesus. Then 
we shall meet in that sweet place, where there shall be no more 
death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more 
pain. The Lord deal kindly and gently with you, both soul and 
body. Farewell, dear friend. Ever yours, &c. 


Be found in Christ. 

December 8, 1841 

Dear Friend — I send you another line to tell you of him who 
is altogether lovely. I have a very dear boy in my parish who 
is dying just now. He said to me the other day, " I have just 
been feeding for some days upon the words you gave me, ' His 
legs are like pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold' (Song 
V. 15) ; for (said he) I am sure he is able to carry me and all my 
sins." You may say the same, if your eyes have been opened to 
see the beauty, fulness, freeness, and compassion of the Lord Jesus. 
Nothing but the hand of God can open your eyes to see your lost 
condition as it truly is. Flesh and blood cannot reveal him unto 


you, but my Father. Oh ! call upon him to do this for you. A 
spiritual discovery of yourself and of Jesus is better than a mil- 
lion of worlds to you, and to me also. Remember, you cannot be 
fair in yourself before God. Song i. 0, must be all your prayer 
— '■^ Look not upon ?ne." Take yourself at your best moments, 
you are but a vile worm in Jehovah's sight, and so am I. Re- 
member, you may be "perfect in Christ Jesus." Allow yourself 
to be found in Christ. Oh ! what will come of you if you are 
found in yourself? Where will you ap))ear ? You will shrink 
back, and call on rocks and mountains to fall upon you and cover 
you. But if you are hiding in Jesus — if your eye and heart are 
fixed upon his wounds made by our sins — if you are willing 
to be righteous in his righteousness — to lie down under the stream 
of his blood, and to be clothed upon with the snowy fleece of the 
Lamb of God — then God will love you with his whole sou! ex- 
ceedingly. The pure, full love of God streams through the blood 
and obedience of Jesus to every soul that is lying under them, 
however vile and wretched in themselves. Have you tried — have 
you tasted the holy love of a holy God ? Thy love is better than 
wine. It is better than all creature-love or creature-enjoyments. 
Oh ! do not live — oh ! do not die, out of this sweet, sweet, sin-par- 
doning, soul-comforting, love of God ! Remember, Jesus is quite 
willing to gather you under his wings. Matt, xxiii. 37. Put that 
beyond all doubt. Remermber also, the present is your only time 
to be saved. Eccles. ix. 10. There is no believing, no repenting, 
no conversion in the grave — no minister will speak to you there. 
This is the time of conversion. We must either gain you now, or 
lose you for ever. Oh ! that you would use this little time. 
Every moment of it is worth a world. Your soul is very dear 
to me — dearer far to Jesus. Look to him and you will be saved. 
Ever yours, &.c. 

TO THE samp:. — no. vi. 

Go up, lesming on Jesus. 

Dear Friend — I have heard of you from , and have been 

praying for you, that your eye may rest on Jesus, and that your 
soul may lie in perfect peace under his blood shed for the sins of 
many. I have been thanking my Father, too. for dealing so boun- 
tifully with you. " lie is the Father of mercies, and the God of 
all comforts." I will give you a sweet verse to meditate upon. 
" Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon 
the beloved?" Song viii. 5. Do you think this is your position? 
Truly this world is a wilderness if you have seen it rightly. It is 
a place of guilt and shame. liVery natural heart is a wilderness 
— a dead place without a drop of living water — and then all natu- 


ral hearts put together make up a wilderness world. The whole 
world lieth in wickedness. There are few that know and love 
Jesus, and these lew are panting to get more of the living water. 
But if you have truly fled to Jesus, you are coming up from the 
wilderness. Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 
" The night is far spent, the day is at hand." Have you found 
Jesus truly? Do you feel willing to be all vile, all hell-deserving 
in yourself, and to let God's dear Son be all your shield and right- 
eousness ? Oh! make sure of this. Never mind what man thinks 
of you. I would not give a straw for the opinions of men, as to 
whether I was safe or no. It is not what man thinks of us that 
will cover us on the judgment-day. Oh no ! You must be in 
Jesus, sitting at his feet, allowing him to wash your stains away, 
allowing him to enwrap your guilty soul in divine righteousness. 
If you were lying at the bottom of the sea, no eye could see 
your deformities ; so when the infinite ocean of Immanuel's 
righteousness flows over the soul, you are swallowed up as 
it were in Christ. Your blackness is never seen, only his fair- 
ness ; and thus a God of truth can say, " Behold thou art fair; 
behold thou art fair, my love. Thou art all fair my love ; there 
is no spot in thee." Song iv. 1-7. Keep this always in mem- 
ory ; and when guilt comes on the conscience, as it will, lie 
down again beneath the righteousness of Jesus. Never lose 
sight of this. Jesus must be seen by the Father, instead of our 
guilty soul. It is no change in our black soul that is to be our 
covering. You must leave self, and stand in your elder brother. 
Hide behind him. Let the Father's eye fall on him, not on you. 
This is what Jesus wants. He d.ed to be a shelter for such as 
you. This is what the Father wants ; for he is not willing that 
any should perish. ll»you are seen by the Father a naked, guilty 
sinner, you must die. There is no help for it. But if Jesus ap- 
pear for you — if you hide in his wounds like the dove in the cliffs 
of the rock, and under his snowy raiment — then the Father him- 
self loveth you, and now you are coming up from the wilderness. 
Every hour that strikes, that is an hour less between you and 
glory. Oh ! do not grieve to part with the world if you are in 
Christ — an hour with Christ will make up for all your griefs and 
pains. Half an hour in the presence of our God will make us 
forget' a lifetime of agony. " Leaning on her beloved !" Is this 
the position of your soul? Do you feel empty, weak, and help- 
less ; and do you see Him mighty to save, able to save to the 
uttermost. His legs are like pillars of marble. This is Christ's 
glory, that he justifies sinners who have no righteousness, and 
sanctifies souls that have no inborn holiness. Let Jesus bear 
your whole weight. Remember he loves to be the only support 
of the soul. He is a jealous Saviour. He wants to be entirely 
trusted. There is nothing that, you can possibly need but you 
will find it in him. " All my springs are in thee." Do you want 


rigJiteousness ? He has the spirit of a wenned child to give vou. 
Ps. cxxxi. Do you want love ? he is the fountain of love ; all the 
promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen. I am sure if 
you get a glimpse of him you would lay your head in his breast 
and die there. May the Spirit anoint your eyes to see him more 
and more, and soften your heart to lean on him. Those that 
have leaned on him through the wilderness shall sit with him 
on the throne. Rev. iii. 21. Farewell, dear soul ! the Lord feed 
you sweetly, as he feeds the flowers, by silent drops of dew. 
Ever yours, &c. 


Parable of the Sower. 

My dear Friends, — It has been a matter of great joy to me to. 
hear that you meet together from time to time to read the Word 
of God and pray — to pray for a blessing on yourselves and fami- 
lies, that you may be brought to the saving knowledge of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to pray for ministers, that they may be 
filled with the Holy Spirit, and made insatiably greedy for the 
salvation of souls, and that the Word of God preached on the Sab- 
bath, may rise and be glorified till the whole world bow the knee 
at the name of Jesus. 

O you that have had your eyes opened to see your, lost condi- 
tion by nature and by wicked works — you that have been drawn 
by the Father, to believe in Jesus, to wash in the blood of the 
Lamb, and to put on the righteousness of God, — oh 1 pray with 
all your heart that your dear friends may be brought to take the 
peace you feel — that your enemies may be brought to the same 
Saviour, and that all the world may be brought to know him, 
whom to know is life eternal. 

If you look at the xiii. chapter of Matthew, verse 3-9, you will 
see how much of our preaching is in vain, and what need there 
is to pray that God would open the hearts we speak to. 

Many among you, I fear, are like the hard wayside, so that, 
when the seed falls, it cannot get into your hearts, and the devil 
plucks it all away. Verse 3, 4. Is it not true that some of your 
hearts are like the footpath, trodden all the week by wicked 
thoughts? '■^ Free, passage this loai/'' is written over your hearts 
— common worldly thoughts — busy covetous desires of money — 
malicious thoughts — imj)ure. abominable thoughts. O who can 
tell what a constant thoroughfare of wicked imaginations is pass- 
ing night and day through every unconverted mind ! O look at 
Genesis vi. 5, and weep over the Bible description of your own 
hard hearts. Now, when you come to the church on Sabbath, 
your heart is like a footpath ; the seed cannot fall in, it lies upon 


the surface. You do not understand the minister. Perhaps he 
preaches of the desperate wickedness of the heart, and the danger 
vou are in, of going to hell, if you be not born again. You feel it 
to be a dry subject, and turn your head away. Perhaps he ia 
preaching of tlie love of Jesus, in tasting death for every man ; 
and that he will in no wise cast the vilest sinner out. Still, you 
feel no interest, and, perhaps you fall asleep during the sermon. 
O you are the wayside hearers — the devil plucks all the seed away. 
When you turn your back on the church, you turn your back on 
divine things ; and before you have got half way home, the devil 
has carried off every word of the sermon. Yea, often, I fear, be- 
fore you have got a sight of your own cottage, or the trees before 
the door, the devil has filled your hearts with abominable worldly 
thoughts, and your tongue with evil talk, unworthy of the Sabbath. 
O Satan, Satan ! what a cunning fiend thou art ! Even when the 
hard hearts will not receive the word, thou wilt not suffer it to re- 
main ; lest it should come back in a time of sickness or danger, 
thou carriest all away. 

Dear believers, pray that it be not so with you, nor with your 
friends ; pray for a soft heart and a retentive memory : and often 
speak together of the sermons you hear, and get them harrowed 
hito your hearts, that Satan may be cheated, and your soul 

Many, I fear, among you, are receiving the seed into stony 
places (Matt. xiii. 6) — receiving the word for a while — but soon 
withering away in time of persecution. I fear there may be some 
among you who are charmed with something about the gospel, 
instead of cleaving in heart to Christ. I can imagine that some 
of the wounded Israelites, that were bitten by the serpent, were 
much taken wnth Moses, as he held up the brazen serpent, instead 
of looking at the serpent itself Many are fond of ministers, who 
are not fond of Christ. Read over Ezekiel xxxiii, 30-32, and pray 
that this be not your case. 

Now, I will give you two marks, by which you may know 
whether you are one of these unfruitful hearers. 1st, The rocky 
heart will remain the same. If you find that your liking to the 
gospel is from the surface, from curiosity, or fancy, or love to a 
minister — if you find that your rocky heart has never been broken 
by conviction of sin — has never melted to flow towards Jesus — 
then you are an empty professor ; you have a name to live, while 
you are spiritually dead. 

2d, You will endure for a while. A really converted soul is 
like a branch. I am the vine, ye are the branches. It will cleave 
to it summer and winter. But if you have only a mock conver- 
sion, you will wither away when persecution comes. God knows 
how soon days of trial may come in Scotland. Be ye therefore 
ready. He that endureth to the end shall be saved. I fear, dear 
friends, that many of you receive the seed among thorns ; Matt 


Kiii, 7. Look into your heart and see, when you rend your Bible 
in the morning, how many cares and anxieties are dancing before 
your eyes, so that you can hardly see the page you are reading. 
How often you come to the House of God, and you see the min- 
ister preaching of eternnl things with all his might, but your heart 
is stiiilcd lull of c;ii-es. and j)hms, and pleasures. Akis, alas ! the 
world has got tlie first hold of your heart, and so you can tliink of 
nothing else. What will it profit you if you gain the whole w^orld 
and lose your own soul ? 

One thing is plain, that thorns and wheat cannot grow on the 
same spot of ground ; so that, if you will keep to your thorns, you 
must burn with them. O dear souls, if you got but a glimpse of 
the beauty of Jesus, you would leave all and follow him. If you 
got but a taste of the sweetness of forgiveness, you would count 
everything else but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of 
Christ. See how Matthew did ? Matt. ix. 9. He was once as 
worldly as yourselves, and as greedy of money as any one of 
you ; and yet a word from the sweet mouth of Christ made him 
leave all. Read Miat sweet command of Christ; Matt. x. 37. 38. 
Oh ! pray to bo made willing to leave all lor Christ. He is 
kinder than father or mother — more precious than son or daugh- 
ter. Take up your cross, then, and follow him. 

Last of all, I trust there are some among you like the good 
ground (Matt. xiii. 8), who receive the word into a heart broken 
up by the Spirit of God — watered by prayer — and who bear 
fruit unto life eternal. Have you had voi;r heakts BROKr\, dear 
friends? Has God ploughed up your hard, unbelievine: hearts? 
Have you had real concern for your pei'ishing soul ? Have you 
been driven to your knees? Have you ever wept in secret for 
your sins ? Have you been made to tremble under your load of 
guilt ? Do you come thus to the House of God — your heart like 
an open furrow, waiting for the seed ! Enquire earnestly whe- 
ther the fallow-ground of your heart has ever been broken up; 
•Teremiah iv. 3. A broken heart alone can receive a crucified 

Have you understood the Gospel ? Have you believed the 
record that God has given concerning his Son ? Do you feel that 
it is true that God is love ? — that Christ has died the just for the 
unjust ? — that he is beckoning you to come to him ( Do you be- 
lieve on the Son of God? He that belie\eth shall be saved ; he 
that believeth not shall l)e damned ; Mark xvi. 1(5. 

Do YOU HEAR I'RuiT ? Without holy fruit all evidences are 
vain. How vain would it be to prove to a farmer that his fields 
were good and productive, if they produced no corn. You might 
say to him, "Neighbor, your land is good ; the soil is dry and 
well trenched." "Oh, but," he would say, "where is the y>llow 
grain — where are the full ears failing before the sickle of the 
reaper ?" Dear friends, you have awakenings, enlightenings, ex- 


periences, a full heart in prayer, and many due signs ; but if you 
want holiness, you will never see the Lord. If you are a drinker, 
a swearer, a liar, a lascivious talker, a wanton, a slanderer, you 
are in the broad way that leads to destruction. 

Read Matthew vii. 21 — 23 ; and pray that you may not be de- 
ceiving your own souls. Dear believers, pray that you may bear 
fruit an hundredfold. Do not be content with bearing thirtyfold 
or sixtyfold ; pray to be sanctified wholly ; 1 Thes. v. 23. Pray 
that the whole lump may be leavened ; Matt. xiii. 33. Pray that, 
day or night, in company or alone. Sabbath and week day, you 
may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. I often 
pray for you all ; and desire that in secret, and in your families, 
you will not forget me. Your friend and soul's well-wisher, &c. 

Trying dispensations. 

Dundee, February 28, 184i. 

Dear Friend — I have heard from J. S. of your brother's death, 
and I write a line to comfort you. There is no true comfort to 
be found but in Christ. He is a fountain of living waters, and 
you must go with your thirsty soul to him and drink. John vii. 
37 ; Psa. Ixiii. If your brother died in the Lord, then he is far 
better than if he were here. Phil. i. 23. If he died out of the 
Lord, you must be like Aaron when " he held his peace." Lev. 
X. 3. Be not moved by these afflictions, knowing that you were 
appointed thereunto. Seek more and more abiding peace in 
Christ. He is not only a Saviour, but a sympathizing elder 

Read the xi. of John, and Lamentations iii., and you will see 
what a compassionate bosom Christ has. Lean your head more 
and you will find rest. " Do not despise the chastening of the 
Lord." Enquire what change he would have wrought in you 
and in all your friends. Are there any need to be awakened ? 
let them listen to this warning. Are there any need to be brought 
off from love of the world ? let them hear the voice of God from 
your 'brother's grave, saying, '* What shall it profit a man though 
ho gain the whole world and lose his own soul." Your brother, 
though dead, still speaketh. To you he says, " Lean on the be- 
loved as you come up out of the wilderness. The Lord is at 
hand." Keep your eye fixed on Jesus. Pray much for his 
spirit and likeness ; and be ready for his coming. 

Our communion is on Sabbath next. Your friend J. thought 
you would perhaps love to be here. Farewell for the present ; 
may the Lord Jesus be very near you, to comfort and sanctify 
and bless you. Ever yours, &c. 



A Right of corruption driTes to Christ. 

Dundee, 1843. 

Dear Fuiend — I send you a hurried line, and may llie Spirit 
accompany it with his divine power to your heart ! It is a good 
thing to be shown much of the deceitluhiess and desperate wick- 
edness of your heart, pi-ovided it lead you to the Loid Jesus, that 
he may pai-don and subdue it. Slightness and carnal ease are 
much more to be dreaded than discoveries of our leprosy. 

The gi'oans and triumphal song of a believer are not far sepa- 
rated, as you may see in Paul, Rom. vii. 24, 2.5," O wretched man," 
and "I thank God," all in one breath. David felt the same — see 
Ixxiii. Psalm. At one verse he feels himself a fool and a be;ist in 
the sight of a holy God, and in the very next verses he is cleaving 
to Christ with a song of unspeakable joy ; v. 22, 23, 24. Ah ! 
thei-e is a sweet mysteiy here — bitter herbs along with our pass- 
over Lamb. It is sweet to see ourselves infinitely vile, that we 
may look to Jehovah our Righteousness, as all our way to the 

The sweet Psalmist of Israel felt this on his dying bed, 2 Sam. 
xxiii. 5, "Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he 
made with me," &c. His house had been the scene of many a 
black sin ; and now, when dying, he could not but confess th;it it 
was not right with God. Not a day he had lived appeared clean 
— not a moment. So may you say in the house where you live, 
and looking at the pollutions of your own heart, "Although my 
house be not so with God" — although my heart and life be not so, 
yet hath he made w\i\\ me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all 
things and sure. 

God makes that covenant with you, when he brings you to lay 
hold on Jesus as your surety — your cui-se-bearing, law-iulfilling 
sui-ety. Then you are brought into the bond of the everlasting 
covenant, and all its blessings are yours — pardon, righteousness, 
consolation, grace upon grace, life, love, the spirit of su|)plications 
— all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. 

Pray to be mnde like Caleb, who had aiK)ther spii'ii, and fol- 
lowed the Lord fully. Follow Christ all the day. He is the con- 
tinual burnt-offering in whom you may have peace. He is the 
Rock that follows you, from whom you may have constant and 
infinite supplies. Give yourself wholly away to him. Vou are 
sale in no other keeping but in the everlasting arms of Jehovah 

Keep yourself from other men's sins. Do not go to t/ir end of 
the stri7ig — that is, going as far as you can in dallying with temp- 
tation without committing open sin. Remember that it ib our 
happiness to be under grace, and every sin will be bitteiness in 


the end, and will take something out of your eternal portion of 

Grace be with your dear and much honored minister, and with 
all that love Christ in sincerity. Never cease to pray for the 
parish, and for all parishes, that God would pour down his life- 
giving spirit, to the conversion of perishing sinners and the glory 
of his own great name. I will remember you on the 12th of J une 

May the Lord remember us. Ever truly, &c. 

TO J. T. 

A young boy anxious about his soul. 

Collage, Jan. 27, 1842. 

My dear Boy — I was very glad to receive your kind note, and 
am glad to send you a short hne in return, although my time is 
much taken up. You are very dear to me, because your soul is 
precious ; and if you are ever brought to Jesus, washed and justi- 
fied, you will praise him more sweetly than an angel of light. I 
was riding among the snow to-day, where no foot had trodden, 
and it was pure, pure white ; and I thought again and again of 
that verse, " Wash me and 1 shall be ivhiter than snow." That 
is a sweet prayer — make it your own. Often go alone and look 
to Jesus, who died to wash us from our sins, and say, " Wash 
me." Amelia Geddie was one day dressed in a new white frock, 
with red ribbons in her bonnet, and some one said to her, '• No 
doubt you will think yourself very trim and clean ?" '• Ah no," 
she said, " / mill never think that until 1 have the fine ivhite robe 
of my Redeemer's righteousness jjut upon meP 1 am glad, my dear 
boy, you think that God is affl.cting you to bring you to himself. 
It IS really for this that he smites you ; his heart, his hand, and his 
rod, are all inscribed with love. But then, see that he does bring 
you to himself. Do not delay. The lake of fire and brimstone 
stretches beneath every soul that lives in sin. There is no peace, 
saith my God, to the wicked. If the Lord Jesus would but draw 
the curtain and let you see his own fair face, and his wounded 
side, and how there is room for the guiltiest sinner in him, you 
would be drawn to Jesus with the cords of love. I was preach- 
ing in Perth last Sabbath ; when I came out, a little girl came up 
to me, I think about three or four years old. She wanted to hear 
of the way to be saved. Her mother said she had been crying 
the whole night before about her soul, and would take no comfort 
till she should find Jesus. Oh 1 pray that the same Spirit may 
waken you. Remember, Johnnie, you once wept for your soul too, 
and prayed and sought Jesus. Have you found him ? or have you 
looked back, like Lot's wife, and become a hard, cold pillar of 
salt ? Awake again and call upon the name of the Lord. Your 


time may be short, God only knows. The longest lifetime is short 
enoLiirh. ft is all that is given you to be converted in. They are 
the happiest wiio are brought s<jonest to the bosom of Jesus. 

Write nic again. At present I must draw to a close. Give 
my kindest remembrances to your mamma, and to A. when you 
write. Tell him to write to me. May you all meet at the table 
of Jesus above, and may I be there too, a sinner saved by grace. 
Ever vours, &c. 

TO A. T. 

On the death of his brother, the little boy to whom the preceding letter was written 

St. Peter-s, March 1, 1S42. 

My dkar a. — I did not think I was to have answered your kind 
letter in the time of bitter grief. But so it pleases Jehovnh, 
whose will must be our will, if we would be happy. It is good 
for you to bear the yoke in your youth. This is the way God 
trains his saints, and especially his ministers. I saw your dear 
little brother twice on his dying bed, and indeed I could not be- 
lieve he was dying, except that his calm eye was directed to the 
hills of Immortality, and he seemed glready to breathe some of 
the atmosphere of the world of sinless joy. I do trust and be- 
lieve that he was a saved boy. You know I am rather slow of 
coming to this conviction, and not fond of speaking when I 
have not good evidence ; but here, I think, God has not left us in 

At Blairgowrie he used several times to speak to me about 
divine things, and the tear would gather in his eye when he said 
that he feared he had never been brought to Jesus. Once, when 
he had a sore throat, he told me he was not ready to die. But 
now he was quite different. The veil seemed to be lifted away 
from his heart, and he saw divine things simply and fully. 

Over and over he told me that he was not afraid to d;e, for 
Christ had died. " IIow kind it was in God to send Jesus to die 
for sinners." He seemed tranquil and happy, even when the pain 
came on in his head and made him knit his brows. " You have 
reason to mingle praise with your tears. Do not sorrow as one 
who has no hope. Only seek a riglit improvement of this be- 
reavement. He is not lost but gone before, and we shall soon put 
off this clay cottage also. And soon we and he, made new, body 
and soul, shall meet the Lord in the air, and so be forever with 
the Lord. I was at your house on Sabbath night, and saw them 
all. sorrowful, yet rejoicing. Your dear little brother lies like a 
marble statue in the peaceful sleep of death, till Jesus' voice 
shall waken him. Ha[)py boy ! he shall hunger no more, neither 
thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on him nor any heat. 


The days of his mourning are ended, and his eternity of love and 
holy joy is begun. 

Improve this sharp wind, dear A., for you will soon lose the 
benefit, if not carefully sought after. Search out the Achan in 
your heart at such an hour. Let affliction strike heavy blows at 
your corruptions, your idolatries, and self-pleasing, and worldly 
schemes. Learn much of Christ at such an hour. Study him at 
the grave of Lazarus — John xi. ; and at the gate of Nain — Luke 
viii. 11 ; and also within the vail — Rev. i. 18. Do not be ashamed 
to grieve deeply, but let your sadness find relief in the bosom that 
was pierced with the spear. 

'•Is any affl.cted ? let him pray." Strange, Satan often tempts 
us to restrain prayer at such a time. Be very gentle towards the 
souls of your kindred now. 

Remember D and H at the throne of grace. If God 

had taken them, where would they have been ? Learn also that 
ministers must care for lambs. '* Preach the gospel to every 

Pray for me, also, that I may do so ; that I may be made a 
better mnn and a more faithful pastor of old and young. Ever 
yours, till we meet in glory, &c. 


Advice to a brother in sickness. 

My DEAR Brother — Like yourself, I have been laid aside from 
the work of the ministry for two Sabbaths, but am now re- 

I am truly afflicted to hear of your trouble, and yet I pray it 
may turn out to the furtherance of the gospel. The time of 
my absence from my flock in 1839 was more blessed to my 
people than even my presence had been. Our God can work 
through means or above them. He that puts the treasure into 
earthen vessels, often allows the vessels to be chipped and broken, 
that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. 
Fear not for your flock. The Chief Shepherd who sent you to 
them is faithful, and his name is The Mighty God. He can feed 
them with or without you. And none that are his can perish. 

Use all prudent means for your recovery. Commit yourself 
entirely to God, and he will turn the shadow of death into the 
morning. I have been often brought very low, but it has been 
always good for me. In this way God educates his ministers, 
both for his temple below, and for being pillars in the temple 

I do not think Broughty Ferry a safe place for you, if your 
lungs are at all afiected. The air is damp, and east wind cold. 


If it is only your stomach that ails, then it will do well ; but if 
you have any chest complaint, do not think of the east coast, 
bhiiri^owrie would be much mure suitable ; when you would 
have the kjul care of a good Christian Doctor, and the ministry 
of dear R. M. 

I fear my illness will prevent me leaving home this summer ; 
but 1 do not know. Your absence will make us pray more that 
your Hock may not be forgotten. 

Do not be afraid at leaving home. His compassions are new 
every morning. Great is his faithlulness. He doth not afllict 

All grace be with you from the foiuitain of living waters. 
Ever yours, &-c. 

MiDisterial aTraugemeDts— Breathings after holiness. 

Aiigi/st 18, 1842. 

IMy dear Horace — I laid aside your note, and cannot find it 
again. 1 think you ask me for the second Sabbath of November, 
on my way back from London. I fear 1 must not do it, but abide 
by my former arrangement. Mr. Hamilton presses me hard to 
stay two Sabbaths, and I would have agreed, but am to elect 
elders on the second Sabbath of November. According to the 
new law of the Church the signed lists are read in a meeting of 
session on the thiid Sabbath alter the intimation is given, so thatl 
will need to be back, even though I should need to be in Edin- 
burgh the week after. If spared then, I shall hold to our firmer 

We have had a very sweet season here during the Concert, 
which was also our communion week. Andrew, Candlish, Cor- 
mick, Cumming, Milne, and Graham from Ireland, all assisted 
me. We had meetings eveiy morning. 

Your scheme was very helpful ; I enclose mine. About 700 
people attended each morning ; and on the Fast-day, and Sab- 
baths too. Several souls have been deeply awakened. 

1 have great desire for personal gi'owth in faith and holiness. 
I love the Word of God, and find it sweetest nourishment to my 
soul. Can you help me to study it more successfully ? The 
righteousness of God is all my way to the Father, f»>r I am the 
chiel' of sinners : and were it not for the promise of the C'cim- 
forter, my soul would sink in the hour of temptation. 

Did you observe that the Charlinch Revival took place in the 
week of the Concert for prayer last year? 

The trials of the Church are near. May we be kept in the 
/shadow of the Rock. Farewell I May Jesus shine on you. 
Yours, &c. 



Inward life — Woitte of Counsel 

DUNDEK. 1S42. 

My DEAR Friend — This is Friday evening, and I do not know 
what to preach on Sabbath next, else I would have written you 
at greater length ; but as I am to see you so soon face to face 
there is the less need of communing with ink and pen. 

I hope your health keeps good, and your labors abundant — ■ 
that you have a continued interest in the blood which speaketh 
peace — a sense of forgiveness and acceptance in the beloved — 
that you feel " his right hand under your head," and the power of 
his indwelling Spirit dwelling in you and walking in you. These 
sweet experiences alone make the n)inister's life calm and serene, 
4ike tliis autumnal evening. Ah, how easy it is to speak or write 
about them. What a different thing to feel them. It is my con- 
stant desire, and yet I am constantly disappointed. I tii;nk I 
never was brought to feel the wickedness of my heart as I do now. 
Yet 1 do not feel it as many sweet Christians do, while they are 
high above it, and seem to look down into a depth of in quity, 
deep, deep in their bosoms. Now, it appears to me as if my 
feet were actually in the miry clay, and I only wonder that I am 
kept from open sin. My only refuge is in the word, " I will put 
my Spirit within you." It is only by being made partakers of the 
divine nature that I can escape the corruption that is in the world 
through lust. 

All things go on here much as they did. I cannot say that my 
sermons are much shorter, though I have tried to shorten them. 
My meeting is still the hour and half, nor do I see how I can 
shorten it. It is very well attended. A stranger started up and 
prayed one evening. I did not interrupt him, or take notice of it, 
but have thought it best to forbid it. None but ordained servants 
should speak in churches. 

I hope you have got all your preparations well forward. Deal 
faithfully by all that speak to you for the communion, especially 
the young. If you would have a clear conscience, none but those 
who are seeking really to close with Jesus Christ should be 
allowed to take the bread and wine, if a word of yours can help it. 

Be decided in keeping back the scandalous. Stir up your 
elders to this. They are very apt to be remiss. May you have 
murh grace given you at this time and peace — droppings of the 
Spirit, and refreshings of peace in the heart. I invite all who 
have any wish to speak to their minister before communicating to 
do so. May you have much fruit at this time that shall appear 
many days hence ! I have been surprised to find even a poor 
table service blessed. Expect much, and much will be given 
Pray for me, for I am all but desolate. Yours faithfully, &.c. 




Do what you can. 

Collage, July 25, 1842. 

Dkar FniE\u — I have been laid aside for a short time, and did 
not receive your letter till it was too late to send the communi- 
cant's line, which you desired. I have no doubt Mr. B. would 
give you a token, however, even without a line. I am truly glad 
to hear that you are so I'ully employed, and earnestly trust that 
your labors may be owned by God. Souls are perishing every 
day. and our own entrance into eternity cannot be far distant. 
Let us, like Mary. ** do what we can," and no doubt God will 
bless it. and reward us openly. Sit under a living ministry if you 
can. Seek much personal holiness and likeness to Christ in all 
the features of his blessed character. Seek to be lamb-like ; with- 
out which all your efforts to do good to others will be as sounding 
brass or a tinkling cymbal. 

Pray for dear St. Peter's, that the dew may never cease to fall 
there ; continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanks- 
giving. Ever truly, &c. 


Call upon a soul to chooee Jeeua. 

Dundee. Sept. 1842. 

My dear G. — I was glad indeed to see. by the line you sent 
me, that though your mind is dark and troubled you have not 
gone back to the world. Ah, it is a false, deceiving world. It 
smiles only to betray. Fain would I lead you to taste the peace 
that passeth understanding, and that is to be found only in Jesus. 
You are quite wrong in thinking that I do not understand your 
misery. I know it well. It is true Jesus does give me peace. 
He washes me from all sin in his own blood. I often feel him 
standing by my side and looking down upon me, saying, *' thou 
art mine." Yet still I have known more misery than you. I 
have sinned more deeply than you. I have sinned against more 
light and more love, and yet I have found mercy ; why may not 
you? Remember what James Covey said: "Tell poor sailors 
that none of tlioni need to despair, since poor blaspheming Covey 
found mercy." I was interrujited just while writing this, by a 
very little girl coming to ask, " What must I do to be saved?" 
Poor thing, she has been weeping till I thought her heart would 
break. She lives several miles oil", but a companion was awakened 
and told her, and ever since she has been seeking Christ with all 


her heart. I was telling her that sweet verse, 1 Tim. i. 15, "Christ 
Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief." 
It will answer you also, dear friend. Christ Jesus was God's dear 
son. He made all things, sun, moon, and stars, men and angels. 
He was from all eternity in the bosom of the Father, and yet he 
came into the world. He did not say, " I will keep my throne 
and my happiness, and leave sinners to die and perish in their sins." 
No; "He came into the world." He became a babe, and was 
laid in a m.anger, for there was not room in the inn. The inn was 
like your heart ; it was filled with other lodgers, and had no room 
for Jesus. He became " a man of sorrows and acquainted with 
grief" He bore our sins upon his own body on the tree. While 
we were sinners, " Christ died for us." Why did he do all this ? 
Ah ! it was to save sinners. Not to save good people — not to 
save angels— but sinners. Perhaps you will say, " but I am too 
bad a sinner ;" but Paul says, " of whom I am the chief" Paul 
was the chief of sinners, and yet he was saved by Christ. So 
Christ is willing and able to save you, though you were the chief 
sinner on the face of the earth. If Christ came into this world 
and died to save such as you, will it not be a fearful thing if you 
die without being saved by him ? Surely you have lived long 
enough without Christ. You have despised Jesus long enough. 
What has the world done for you, that you love it so much ? Did 
the world die for you ? Will the world blot out your sins or 
change your heart ? Will the world carry you to heaven ? No, 
no ! You may go back to the world if you please, but it can only 
destroy your poor soul. "She that liveth in pleasure is dead 
while she liveth," 1 Timothy, v. 6. Read these words in your 
Bible, and mark them, and if you go back that mark will be a 
witness against you before the great white throne, when the books 
ai-e opened. Have you not lived long enough in pleasure ? Come 
and try the pleasures of Christ — forgiveness and a new heart. I 
have not been at a dance or any worldly amusement for many 
years, and yet I believe I have had more pleasure in a single day 
than you have had all your life. In what? you will say. In 
feeling that God loves me— that Christ has washed me— and in 
feeling that I shall be in heaven when the wicked are cast into 
hell. " A day in thy courts is better than a thousand ;" Psalm 
Ixxxiv. 10. 

I do not know what is to be the result of your anxieties. I do 
not know whether you will be drawn to Christ, or driven back 
into the whirlpool of a perishing world ; but I know that all will 
soon be settled for eternity. I was in a very wicked family to- 
day, where a child had died. I opened my "Bible, and explained 
this verse to them over the coffin of their little one, Heb. ix. 27, 
" It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the jurlgment." 
Solemn words ! we have only once to die, and the day is fixed. If 
you die wrong the first time, you cannot come back to die better 

VOL. I. 16 


a second time. If you die without Christ, you cannot come back 
to be converted and die a believer — you have but once to die. Oh ! 
pray that you may find Clirist before death finds you. " After this 
tlie judgment." Not, after this purgatory. No farther opportu- 
nity to be saved — '• alter this the judgment." As death leaves 
you so judgment finds you. If you die unsaved, you will be so in 
the jnd'jment. May I never see you at the left hand! If I do, 
you will remember how I warned you, and prayed for you, and 
besought you to come to the Lord Jesus. 

Come to Jesus — he will in nowise cast you out. Your affec- 
tionate friend, &c. 

The wise men — Guilt in us, righteousness in Jesus. 

St. Peter's, Monday, Sept. 18, 1842. 

My dear C. — I do not and cannot forget you, and, though it is 
very late, I have to write you a few lines to say, follow on to 
know Jesus. I do not know if you can read my crooked writing, 
but I will make it as plain as I can. I was reading this morning, 
Luke ii. 29, what old Simeon said when he got the child Jesus 
into his arms — " Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, ac- 
cording to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." If 
you get a firm hold of the Lord Jesus, you will be able to say the 

If you had died in your ignorance and sin, dear soul, where 
would you have been this night? Ah ! how shall we sufficiently 
praise God if he really has brought you to the blood of the Lord 
Jesus Christ ! Psalm xxxvi. 12, 13, will suit your case. If you all 
are really brought to Christ, it will be something like the case of 
the wise men of the east. Matt. ii. When they were in their 
own country, God attracted their attention by means of a star. 
They followed it, and came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he 
that is born King of the Jews? for we are come to worship him." 
Herod and Jerusalem were troubled at the saying. No one was 
seeking Christ but themselves. The world thought they were 
mad ; but soon they saw the star again, and it led them to the 
house where the iniant Saviour lay — his robe of state a swaddling 
band — his cradle the manger. Yet they kneeled down and called 
him, " my Lord and my God" — they got their own souls saved — 
and gave him gifts, the best they had. and then departed into their 
own country with great joy in their hearts, and heaven in their 
eye. So may it be with you. The most around you care not for 
Jesus. But you are asking, "Where is he — we are come to be 
saved by him ?" None around you can tell. They think you are 
going out of your mind. But God is leading you to the very spot 


where the Redeemer is — a lowly, despised, spit-upon, crucified 
Saviour. Can this be the Saviour of the world ? Yes, dear soul ; 
kneel down and call him your Redeemer. He died for such as 
you and me. And now you may go away into your own country 
again, but not as you came. You will carry with you joy un- 
speakable and full of glory. A young woman called upon me on 
Wednesday last, whom I had never seen before. She said she 
was a stranger from another part of Scotland ; she came to this 
town about a year ago, and attended St. Peter's, and there for the 
first time, learned that she was a sinner and needed Christ. About 
four weeks ago she found rest and joy at the Saviour's feet. I 
said to her, " Then you will bless God that he brought you from 
your own country to this place." She said, " I often do that." 
Another woman came the same evening, whom I had never seen. 
She said she had been married eight years to a wicked husband. 
One of her neighbors had brought her to our Church, and now 
she feels that Christ has saved her soul. 

Thus the work goes on — "The Lord added to the Church daily 
such as shall be saved." A young woman was with me to-night 
in great distress. She said, " I have a wicked heart within me 
that would sink a world." I said, " I am thankful to hear you 
complain of your wicked heart, dear friend, it is unsearchably 
wicked. There is not a sin committed on earth or in hell but has 
its spring and fountain in your breast and mine. You are all sin 
— your nature is sin — your heart is sin — your past life is sin — 
your prayers are all sin." Oh ! that you would despair of being 
righteous in yourself. Then take the Lord Jesus for your right- 
eousness. In him is no sin. And he stood for us, and offers to be 
your shield, your way to the Father. You may be righteous in 
Christ with a perfect righteousness, broad as the law, and pure as 
the light of heaven. If you had an angel's righteousness, you 
might well lay it down and put on Jesus. The robe of a blood- 
washed sinner is far whiter than that of an angel. Do not fear 
the frown of the world. When a blind man comes against you 
in the street, you are not angry at him ; you say he is blind, poor 
man, or he would not have hurt me. So you may say of the 
poor world, when they speak evil of Christians — they are blind. 
If they knew their sin, and misery, and the love of Jesus, they 
would cleave to him also. Fear not them which kill the body, 
and after that have no more that they can do. Keep close to the 
Lord Jesus. He is greater than all that can be against you — he 
is the shepherd of his slieep — he will defend you from wolves. 
Pray for the Holy Spirit, dear friend. Ask him to come into your 
heart, and abide there. It is a mean dwelling for such a guest 
Still he will make it clean and holy by dwelling in it. Ask him to 
teach you to pray ; Rom. viii. 26, 27. He will give you " groan- 
ings that cannot be uttered." Ask him to change your heart and 
make it like that of Jesus. Ask him to write the law upon your 


heart, and to keep you in every time of need. I fear you are 
weary of my long sermons. Remember, if you are not saved, I 
will be a witness against you in the judgment day. 

Come ye weary, heavy laden, 

Lost and ruined by the fall : 
If ye tarry till you're better, 
, You will never come at all. 

Not the righteous — sinners Jesus came to call. 

Farewell ! Write me soon all your heart. Ever yours, till 
glory, &.C. 

Trials from a blind world— Uow the death of Christ is an atonement. 

London, Nov. -0, 1842 

My dear C. — I pray for you, that your faith may not fail. 
Hold fast by Jesus for a little while, and then we shall be forever 
with the Lord, where the unbelieving will never be. I got safely 
up to town without stopping. The young man in the coach with 
us was Lord P. He and 1 were alone all night in the railway 
carriage, and I would fain have told him the way to be saved, but 
when morning dawned I lost him. I preached twice on Thurs 
day, and once last night, and now I am preparing for to-morrow. 
I feel, like John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the wilder- 
ness. The mad world presses on like a bird hasting to the snare. 
They do not know that the dead are there, and her guests are in 
the depths of hell. 

I thank God without ceasing when I remember you all — how 
God opened your eyes and hearts, and made you flee from the 
wrath to come and believe the record which God hath given con- 
cerning his Son. " Fear none of those things which thou shalt 
suffer." "Be thou foithful unto death, and I will give thee a 
crown of life," Rev. ii. 10. Do not be surprised if worldly peo- 
ple mock you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely. 
Jesus told you it would be so. " If you were of the world, the 
world would love its own." You have been long enough of the 
world. Did the world ever hate you then ? So now, when 
you have come out from among them, and are cleaving to Jesus, 
do you think they will love you ? Remember Jesus loves you. 
God is for you, and who can be against you ? Remember, all 
who have gone to heaven before you, suflered the same things ; 
see Rev. vii. 14, " These are they that came out of great tribu- 

You wish to understand more about Christ's death being an 
atonement. I shall try and explain. The curse which Adam by 
his sins brought upon us all, was this, •' Thou shalt surely die ;" 


Genes, ii. 17. This included the death of the body, the death of 
the soul, and the eternal destruction of both in hell. This is the 
curse that hangs over every unpardoned sinner. And our sins 
have only added certainty and weight to the awful curse, for the 
" wages of sin is death." Now, when the Son of God said he 
would become our surety and Saviour, the Father said, " Thou 
must die for them ;" see John x. 17, 18. '• I lay down my life." 
" This commandment have I received from my Father." It is 
true, Christ did not suffer eternal destruction in hell ; but He was 
a person so glorious and excellent — God's own Son — that his 
short sufferings were equal in value to our eternal agonies. So 
that, in the eye of law, and in God's account, Jesus has suffered 
all that you and I were condemned to suffer. Hence that sweet, 
sweet passage, Isa. xl. 1,2, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, * * * 
for she hath received (in Christ) of the Lord's hand double for all 
her sins." Christ's dying for us is as much in God's account as 
if we had twice over borne the eternal agonies of hell. Hence 
that sweet song which God enabled you and G. to sing, Isa. xii. 
1, " I will praise thee ; though thou wast angry with me, thine 
anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me." Hence also 
that triumphant question, Rom. viii. 34, " Who is he that condemn- 
eth ? It is Christ that died." 

Keep looking then to Jesus, dear soul, and you will have the 
peace that passeth all understanding. Whenever Satan accuses 
you, send him to the stripes of the Lord Jesus. Deal gently and 
tenderly with your unconverted friends. Remember you were 
once as blind as they. " He was despised and we esteemed him 
not," Isa. hii. Honor your mother in the Lord. Give her all 

reverence and obedience in things not sinful. Ask to read 

and pray over Mat. xviii. 3, 6. I would love much to visit the 
cottage on my return, but I fear I shall be kept in town till Fri- 
day, so that I must travel night and day home. The Lord bless 
you, and keep you cleaving to Christ the true vine. You have 
found the pearl of great price. Go and sin no more. " If any 
man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." God is 
able to keep you from falling. In his dear arms I leave you. 
Yours, &c. 

What you want in yourself is to be found in double measure in Christ. 

Dundee, Nov. 1842. 
My DEAR Friend— Why did you not write me a few lines ? It 
would be occupation to you, and your soul might find rest, even 
when pounng itself out to another. I do trust you are seeking 
hard alter him whom your soul loveth. He is not far from any 
one of us. He is a powerful and precious Saviour, and happy 


are they who put their trust in him. He is the Rose ot Sharon, 
lovely to look upon, having all divine and human excellencies 
meeting in himself; and yet he is the Lily of the Vallies — meek 
and lowly in heart, willing to save the vilest. He answers the 
need of your soul. You are all guilt ; he is a fountain to wash 
you. You are all naked ; he has a wedding garment to cover 
you. You are dead ; he is the life. You are all wounds and 
bruises ; he is the Balm of Gilead. His righteousness is broader 
than your sin ; and then he is so free. Remember the word we 
read at the draw-well — " Whosoever will, let him take the water 
of life freely." Look at Isa. xl. 1, 2, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, 
my people." If you receive Christ as your surety, you have re- 
alized double punishment for all your sins. The sufferings of 
Christ for us were as honoring to God as if we had suffered eter- 
nal punishment thrice over. If you will only open your arms to 
receive Christ as your surety, then your iniquity is pardoned. 
You will taste immediate forgiveness. Your warfare with the 
law and an accusing conscience will be immediately accomplished. 
If you will only lay hold on Christ now, you will feel the force 
of that sweet command, " Comfort ye, comfort ye ;" — double 
comfort, double peace, for in Jesus you have suffered double 
wrath. Pray over that verse ; and may He who first made 
the light to shine out of darkness shine into your heart, to let you 
see the way of salvation clearly. Soon may you sing, " Thou 
wast angry with me ; but thine anger is turned away, and thou 
comfortest me." " O, to grace, how great a debtor !" You are 
always in my prayers, that God would reveal himself unto you. 
O the joy of being able to say, " My beloved is mine, and I am 
his." Ever yours in the gospel, &c. 


A word in season to the weary. 

Sept. 14, 1842. 

My dear Patrick — When I last saw Horatius, I agreed not to 
ask him at all at the autumn communion, but only in the spring. 
I know not well where to look, as A. is to undertake the Edin- 
burgh communion. 

Don't be cast down except for sin. Lie low in self, and set 
both feet on the Rock of Ages. The sun, by one blink, can give 
a smile to nature, so can the Lord's face give life to our dark 
souls. Numbers do not prove life always. Remember the well 
of Sychar. Get much of the hidden life in your own soul ; soon 
it will make life spread around. 

Try prayer when preaching fails. He can turn the water into 
wine. Farewell I Ever yours in Jesus, &.c. 



Another word in season to a brother. 

Sept. 24, 1842. 

My dear Brother — I long after you in the bowels of Jesus 
Christ. If I make you sorry, who is he that maketh me glad, but 
the same who is made sorry by me. I often try to carry you to 
Jesus, as the four friends did the palsied man, and I have been 
longing to hear you say that his word to you was — " Be of good 
cheer, thy sins be forgiven ;" and then, " arise and walk." I 
wonder often God does not hide his face from me and lay me low, 
yet he restores my soul after many falls. He holds me by my 
right hand, and I believe will bring me to glory, though the 
weakest and most inconstant of all his saved ones. We shall 
praise more loudly than other men, and love more ardently, and 
gaze upon his wounds more wistfully, and say — He gave himself 
for us. Cheer up, brother, and tell poor sinners what Jesus can 
do ; for if he could not save the vilest of them all, we had never 
preached the good news. 

If I could be with you, how gladly would I, but I do not see my 
way. I have promised to be in London the first Sabbath of No- 
vember, which will take me soon away, and for a long time, from 
this poor flock. 

Will yo'u come to me on Monday the 17th, the last day of the 
Concert for prayer? I think of printing a similar tract to last 
year's or perhaps the same, with improvements. Suggest some- 

This is Saturday, and I am empty. O for fulness out of Him ! 
Why do we not take all out of Jesus ? Ever yours till glory 
dawn, &c. 


Breathings of heart. 

December 1.3, 1842. 

My dear Brother — We are to have the communion, if God 
permit, on 1st January, 1843. A. B. is to be with me. Could you 
come down on the Thursday or Friday previous, and give us a 
good and comfortable word in the evening, 29th or 30th Decem- 
ber — either you choose, or both if you prefer that ? 

I preach at Newtyle to-night, and to-morrow evening at Lin- 
trathen in a barn, and on Thursday at Kirriemuir. Pray for me, 
for I am a poor worm, all guilt and all helplessness, but still able 
to say — In the Lord have I righteousness and strength. When 
shall the day break and the shadows flee away ? When that 
which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done 


away. I long for love without any coldness, light without dim 
ness, and purity without spot or wrinkle. I long to be at Jesus 
feet, and tell |iim I am all his, and ever will be. Yours till 
then, &c. 


Kept by God— Meeting with God. 

St. Peter's, Jan. 31. 1S43. 

My DEAR M. — I was glad indeed to hear that you are prosper- 
ing, and that you do not repent having made Moses' choice — 
Heb. xi. 21, 25 — of which I used to tell you so often. Happy is 
that people whose God is the Lord. You remember what Ruth 
said when she clave to Naomi ? '^' Thy people shall be my peo- 
ple, and thy God my God." ' ' ^ 

I have not got your note by me,' and it is late, but I will an- 
swer it to-morrow. I only write a line to-night to strengthen 
your faith — " that I may be comforted together with you, by the 
mutual faith both of you and me," Rom. i. 12. I have been re- 
maining quiet since I wrote you last, that I may gather strength 
for the north. I expect hard service, but I hope Jesus will be 
with me. You remember the sweet promise Jacob got at Bethel 
while he slept at the foot of that wondrous ladder, " Behold I am 
with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, for 
I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken 
to thee of." That promise is to you and me as truly as to Jacob. 
Therefore, do not fear though you may be taken among those 
who are strangers to Jesus and his love. There is a sweet prom- 
ise ; Ezek. xi. 16. I have felt its preciousness in foreign lands. 
Jesus himself will be our sanctuary not made with hands. I was 
preaching on Thursday last, on Rev. xix. 12, "On his head were 
many crowns ;" trying to teach them the kingly oflice of the Lord 
Jesus. It was a very solemn night. On Sabbath I lectured on 
Heb. ix. 9, 10, and preached in the evening on Isaiah xlix. 5, 
" Though Israel be not gathered :" showing that however many 
will be lost by unbelief, still Christ would not lose one beam of 
his glory. If all the world were blind, and said the sun was 
dark, that would not take away one bright ray from it. It was a 
very awful subject, and my heart yearned over poor lost sin- 
ners. Four little girls have come since, asking, " What must I do 
to be saved ?" Three of them were awakened before, and one 
very lately. A widow came last night whom I never saw before, 
to tell me that she had found the Lord Jesus. To-night we 
have been at a large meeting about the tracts which are distrib- 
uted monthly to every house in town — a very sweet society. It 
is now late, and I am talking a little while with you as we used 


to do before retiring. Did you read Gen. xxxii. to day ? Wiiat 
a solemn ciiapter. Do you ever come to a spot you can call 
Mahanaim, where the angels of God meet you 1 I trust you are 
one of the heirs of salvation, and that the angels are sent forth 
to minister to you. Unconverted souls have no such privilege. 
You see Jacob was going on God's errand, at God's command, 
(see xxxi. 3,) when the angels of God met him. O it is sweet 
to go on God's errands ! How long we went Satan's and the 
world's, and our own, "serving diverse lusts and pleasures." 
Do you not feel your heart lighter now as you walk on the nar- 
row way ? Is not a Christian's darkest hour calmer than the 
world's brightest ? Is not Jacob's prayer in his distress an in- 
teresting one? (v. 9 — 12.) He puts God in remembrance of his 
promise. This is what we should do — " The Lord which said 
unto me." And "thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." God 
commands us to do this ; Isa. xliii. 26, " Put me in remembrance." 
It is a blessed way of praying, to pray upon a promise, and to 
plead, "Do as thou hast said." You remember "Faith's Plea," a 
little book Miss C. gave you. Who do you think the man was that 
wrestled with Jacob ? Was it not Jesus ? the sinner's friend. 
At the daybreak Jacob began to see his blessed features, and 
when his thigh was out of joint, he could do nothing but hang 
upon him. This is what you and I should do. Say, " I will not 
let thee go except thou bless me." Are there not some spots that 
you can call Peniel, where you have met Jehovah- Jesus face to 
face ? When you do get into his presence, O do not weary of 
it ; do not soon let go your hold. I am sure we lose much by 
our slight hold on Jesus. I was telling an interesting story to- 
night. Thirty thousand Spaniards lately came over the Pyrenees 
into France, to escape the civil wars. Some Geneva youths de- 
termined to take the opportunity of providing them with Spanish 
Testaments. The London Society granted them 10,000 copies. 
With these they set off and distributed freely. But the Spanish 
priests had come over and would not allow the Spaniards to re- 
ceive or keep them. Many were burned or torn ; they called 
them " The plague." One Spanish youth bought a Testament — 
kept it — read it — believed on Jesus ; and when his countrymen 
returned to Spain, he «taid behind to hear more of these won- 
ders -of redeeming love. Was not this one precious soul worth 
all the expense and trouble a thousand times over ? " Be not 
weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint 
not." Be active for God ; you have lost much time already." 
Do nothing rashly, nothing unfeminine — give no just cause for re- 
proach, but do not fear ridicule or proud men's sneer. If they 
knew what you know, they would rather inquire, " O that I 
knew where I might find him !" Meanwhile, good night. May 
he who never slumbers nor sleeps watch over you all, and keep 
you till your dying day ! May Jesus be near you, and make you 


his own ! I fear I must not visit Kelso this season. I leave for 
the north on Monday, and do not expect to be home till the 

25th. I fear this cuts off all hope of my visiting R the time 

you mention. I do hope to be in England early in the summer, 
but before that I do not see my way. But I shall gladly leave 
myself in Jehovah's hand. Present duty is ours ; neither must 
we consult our mere wishes. If I hear from you before I leave, 
I shall try and send you another line. I am glad you teach in 
the classes, and I think I see you telling all you know. Re- 
member Paul ; when his heart was changed, for thirty years he 
did nothing else than serve .Tesus. He labored away in the ser- 
vice of Him who died for him, and plucked him from the burn- 
ing. It is interesting to notice also, how often Paul told them of 
his own conversion. lie told it to the Jews ; Acts xxii. — then 
to Agrippa; Acts xxvi. — then to the Galatians ; Gal. i. 13-lG — 
then to the Philippians ; Phil. iii. 4. I think this is an example 
for us to do the same, cautiously and wisely. John Newton once 
preached in Newgate to the prisoners. He chose 1 Tim. i. 15, 
for his text, and told them his own history, so that they wept and 
he wept. Pray for me still that my way may be made 'plain. 
This is one of the blessings of having spii'itual children, that you 

will surely pray for me. Do not cease to pray for that her 

eyes may be opened to see her true condition, and that she may 
call upon Jesus before it be too late. I must now leave you and 
write a little to others. I preach at Wallacetown to-night. May 
the Master be there ! Oh he is a sweet Master ! One smile from 
Jesus sustains my soul amid all the storms and frowns of this pass- 
ing world. Pray to know Jesus better. Have no other right- 
eousness — no other strength but only Jesus. Soon we shall see 
him coming in the clouds of heaven. May you be kept faithful 
to death. Ever your loving friend, &.c. 

TO M. B. 

One of hia flock who had felt deserted in souL 

• Peterhead, Feb. 7. 1843. 

Dear Friend — I was very happy to hear from you. 1 grieve 
to hear of your sorrow ; but Job's sorrow was deeper, and Da- 
vid's also, in the xlii. Psalm. If you cannot say, " I found him 
whom my soul loveth," is it not sweet that you can say, " I am 
sick of love" — he is my beloved still, though he has withdrawn 
himself and is gone for a time ? Seek into the cause of your de- 
clension. See that it be not some Achan in your bosom — some 
idol set up in the corner of your heart. See that it be not some 
allowed sin — an unlawful attachment that is drawing you away 
from the bleeding side of Jesus, and bringing a cloud between you 


and that bright sun of righteousness. When you find out the cause, 
confess it and bewail it in the ear of a hstening God. Tell him 
all. Keep nothing back. If you cannot find out the cause, ask 
him to tell it you. Get it washed in the blood of Jesus. Then 
get it subdued. Micah vii. 19. None but the Lord Jesus can 
either pardon or subdue. Remember not to rest in a state of de- 
sertion. " I will rise now and go about the city." And yet do 
not think that you have some great thing to do before regaining 
peace with God. The work on which peace is given has all been 
done by Jesus for us. " The word is nigh thee." Christ is the 
end of the law for righteousness to every one that belie veth. 

The sunshine is always sweeter after we have been in the 
shade ; so will you find Jesus in returning to him. True it is bet- 
ter never to wander; but when you have wandered, the sooner 
you return the happier you will be. •' I will go and return to my 
first husband, for then it was better with me than now." Hosea 
ii. 7. 

Do not delay, but humble yourself under his mighty hand, and 
he will exalt you in due season. I have been speaking to-night 
in this place to a large and attentive audience on Zech. ix. 9. May 

you be enabled to apply it. Remember me to Mrs. K , and 

also to all your fellow servants whom I know and love in the truth. 

Xell N C to make sure that she is in Christ, and not to 

take man's word for it. Tell E L to abide in Jesus ; 

and tell her brother to take care lest he be a rotten branch of the 
true vine. Tell W J to be faithful unto death. 

I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in 
the truth. I am your loving pastor, &c. 


During his -visit to the north. 

Ellon, Feb. 20, 1843. 

Dear Friend — I was glad to hear from you in this far off land. 
I am deeply grieved to hear that fever still prevails. God is 
pleading hard with my poor flock. I am glad to hear of your 
preaching on such precious texts, and hope they were blessed to 
many. Never forget that the end of a sermon is the salvation of 
the people. I feel more and more that it is God's cause in which 
we are embarked. King Jesus is a good master. I have had 
some sweet seasons of communion with an unseen God, which I 
would not give for thousands of gold and silver. May you have 
much of his presence with you ! Write me to Cruden, or, if im- 
mediately, to Captain Shepherd's, Straloch, New Machar. 
Ever yours in Jesus, &c. 



Sorrow of the world— Incidents. 

March 8, 1843. 

My Dear I know you will be wearying to hear from 

me, but it has scarcely been in my power till now ; I have had 
so many things to do since my return. I trust Jesus is making 
known to you his power to calm the soul in the deepest trials. 
" Where is your faith ?" he said to the disciples ; and he says to 
you, '• All things are possible to him that believeth." 

I wris much afflicted for your sakes to read the solemn letter 
you sent me. Do you remember the words, " We must needs 
go through Samaria?" We are getting new light upon their 

I was reading to-day about godly sorrow, and the sorrow of 
the world. Do you know the difference between these two? 

Had this blow come upon you in your unconverted state, it 
would have wrought, perhaps, only the sorrow of the world — car- 
nal sorrow — sorrow that drives us away from God — makes us 
murmur and complainof his dealings. Like Pharaoh, who turned 
harder every blow that God struck — even the loss of his first- 
born only hardened him. But godly sorrow, or, more literally, 
" sorrow towards God" — grief that brings us to the feet of God 
• — worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of. It is 
used as an instrument to bring the humbled soul to cleave to Je- 
sus. O may it be so with you. Humble yourselves under the 
mighty hand of God, and he shall exalt you in due season. Im- 
prove the season while it lasts. The farmer improves the seed- 
time, to cast in the seed into the furrows. Now, when God has 
made long the furrow, by the plough of affliction, in your heart, 

see that you let the sower sow the good seed deep in your 
hearts. I trust H. B may be made a great blessing and com- 
fort to you next Sabbath. May you all be enabled to meet with 
Jesus at his own table, and to tell him all your sorrows there, and 
ask grace to keep you in the evil day. 

I would like well to be with you ; but in body this may not be. 
In heart I am often with you, because I can say what I was read- 
ing to-day, " Ye are in my heart to live and to die with you." 
2 Cor. vii. 3. 

I preached twenty-seven times when I was away, in twenty- 
four different places. I was very, very tired, and my heart has 
beat too much ever since, but 1 am wonderfully well. I have 
" fightings without and fears within" just now. Do pray earnestly 
for me — as indeed I know you do. I wish you had been with me 
last night. When I was away, the people agreed to meet twice 
a week in the lower school-room to pray for me ; and, now that 

1 have come back, we have continued the meetings. The school 


is quite crammed. Such sweet loud singing of praise I never 
heard, and many tears. 

I stood by a poor socialist in the agonies of death to-day. He 
was quite well yesterday. He anxiously wished me to come and 
pray. O to be ready when the Bridegroom comes ! 

Farewell. Peace from above fill your soul, your friend and 
brother prays, &c. 


Betake yourself to Him that is ever the same 

March 9, 1843. 

My dear I did not think I would have been so long in 

answering you in your time of sorrow, but I have been more than 
occupied. I earnestly trust that this sad bereavement may be 
greatly blessed by God to you. Pray that you may not lose this 
precious opportunity of giving your hand and heart forever away 
to the Lord Jesus. May Hosea ii. 14, be fulfilled in you all. 
" Behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and 
speak comfortably unto her;" and that clear promise (Ezek. xx. 
35-37), " I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring 
you into the bond of the covenant." This solemn event shows 
you what I always used to tell you, hoiv short your life is — what a 
vapor — how soon the joys that depend on the creatures may be 
dried up — that " one thing is needful" — and that Mary was wise 
in choosing the good part that cannot be taken aioay from her. 
You remember the first night you were in St. Peter's I showed 
you this preaching from Psalm xvi. 6, " The lines have fallen to 
me in pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage." I am in- 
deed more than ever anxious about you, that you receive not the 
grace of God in vain. It is the furnace that tries the metal, and 
it is affliction that tries the soul whether it be Christ's or not. I 
am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, lest the furnace should 
show you to be reprobate silver. Do let me hear how your soul 
truly is — whether you can see the hand of a father in this be- 
reavement — and whether you are more than ever determined, 
through grace, to be the Lord's. How sweet, that Jesus ever 
hveth. He is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. You 
will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast 
howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst 
of the desolation — a rock rising above the storm. Ihe Bible, too, 
is more full of meaning. Have you ever prayed over that verse 
(Lam. iii. 33), " He doth not affiict loillingly V O precious book, 
that conveys such a message to the mourner's dwelling ! And 
does not trial bring more meaning out of that verse (Romans viii. 
28), " We know that all things work together for good to them 


that love God — to them who are the called according to his pur- 
pose ?" The Bible is like the leaves of the lemon tree ; the more 
you bruise and wrini? ihem.the sweeter the fragrance they throw 
around. " Is any alFlicted ? — let him pray." Do you not find 
that prayer is sweeter now. The soul finds vent for his feelings 
towards God. " Call irpcn me in the day of Iroxible — I will de- 
liver thee, ana thou shalt glorify me." When I had my fever 
abroad, Mr. Bonar whispered that verse into my ear. I had 
nearly lost all my faculties — I could remember nothing except 
that I was far from home ; but that verse kept sounding in my 
ears when I was nearly insensible, " I called, and he delivered me." 
Are you preparing to go to the Lord's table next Lord's-day ? 
May you indeed have the wedding garment — righteousness with- 
out works — and see the King in his beauty — and give yourself 
away to him, saying, '•! am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine !" 
It should be a solemn sacrament to you. I can add no more. 

Write me soon, dear G , and tell me all that is in your heart, 

and whether the voice of the Comforter does not say. Be still I 
when death has left so deep a silence in your family. Believe me 
ever your friend in Jesus, &c. 


Passing on to glory. 

St. Peter's, March 8, 1843. 

My DEAR Friend — I send a few lines to you in answer to 
yours. You complain of the plague of your own heart, and so 
you will till you die. You know little yet of its chambers of 
imagery. All that is ours is sin. Our wicked heart taints all we 
say and do ; hence the need of continual atonement in the blood 
of Jesus. It is not one pardoning that will serve the need of our 
souls. We must have daily, hourly pardons. I believe you are 
in the furnace, but it is a short one. Soon the bridegroom will 
come, and we shall be with him, and like him, and God shall 
wipe away all tears from our eyes. I burst through all the cob- 
webs of present things, and, his spirit anointing my eyes, look at 
Jesus as one beside me. Blessed elder brother, with two natures 
— God and man — ever-living, never-dying, never-changing ! I 
was preaching last Sabbath on Heb. ix. 13, 14. "He through the 
eternal Spirit olVered himself." It was very sweet to myself. In 
the afternoon l preached on Rev. ii. 4, 5, " I have this against 
thee, that thou hast left thy first love." I fear many of my people 
have done so ; therefore it was very suitable. Several I see 
have felt it very deeply. In the evening I preached on Psalm 
Ixxviii. 41 — " They turned back, and tempted God, and limited 
the Holy One of Israel" — on the sinfulness of limiting God. It 


was a very sweet and solemn day. Meantime, stay your soul on 
God. " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stay- 
ed on thee, because he trusteth in thee." A few more trials — a 
few more tears — a few more days of darkness, and we shall be 
forever with the Lord. " In this tabernacle we groan, being 
burdened." All dark things shall yet be cleared up — all suffer- 
ings healed — all blanks supplied, and we shall find fulness of joy 
(not one drop wanting) in the smile and presence of our God. It 
is one of the laws of Christ's kingdom, " We must through much 
tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.' We must not reckon 
upon a smooth road to glory, but it will be a short one. How 
glad I am that you have " received the Word in much affliction, 
with joy of the Holy Ghost." Cleave closely to Jesus, that you 
may not have to say in a little, " O that I had affliction back again 
to quicken me in prayer, and make me lie at his feet." 

Trials make the promise sweet, 

Trials give new life to prayer ; 
Trials bring me to his feet, 

Lay me low, and keep me there. 

This land will soon be strangely convulsed, if God prevent not. 
The plans now preparing for carrying the gospel into every cor- 
ner of the land are sweet indeed. If I be spared and strength- 
ened, I go to London towards the end of April. My stay must 
be very short. It is also intended to send me to the General As- 
sembly in May. My poor flock ; how I yearn over them ! So 
many of them careless, and judgment at the door ! Mr. Burns 
comes to me to-morrow. 

I must add no more, as I have work before me. May you ex- 
perience more and more that, " When he giveth quietness, none 
can make trouble !" — even as you once experienced the other, 
" When he hideth his face who then can behold him ?" Soon we 
shall see him as he is ; then our trials shall be done. We shall 
reign with him, and be entirely like him. The angels will know us 
by our very faces to be brothers and sisters of Jesus. 

Remember Jesus for us is all our righteousness before a holy 
God, and Jesus in us is all our strength in an ungodly world. Per- 
severe ever to death ; eternal life will make up for all. I was 
reading to-day, " God hath granted repentance unto life." Re- 
member Barnabas's advice, " Cleave to the Lord ;" not to man, 
but the Lord. May He perfect all that concerneth you. Do not 
fear the face of man. Remember how small their anger will ap- 
pear in eternity. Till then, believe me, your friend in gospel 
bands, &c. 



" Oh ! that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments ! then had thy peace been as 
a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." — Isaiah xlviii. 18. 

I. Their peace ivould have been like a river. — 1. It has a source. 
It begins at the fountain of Christ's blood. 2. It is fed from 
above. Rains and showers feed the rivers. The shower of 
grace swells the rivers of peace. 3. It has inundations, as the 
Nile. An awakening providence often makes it overflow. — Af- 
flictions and the consolations under them always, if the sutferings 
are the suiferings of ('hrist. Sacramental times, also ; hence the 
desirableness of frequency in the administration of the Lord's 
Supper. 4. It gets broader and broader to the sea. The Tay. 
" The path of the just is like the shining light." Try yourselves by 
this text. 5. It is fertilizing. It conveys nourishment. Egypt 
owes all its fertility to the Nile. The peace of Christ makes every 
grace grow. Holiness always grows out of a peaceful breast. 

II. Their righteousness would Jiave been as the waves of the sea. 
— The righteousness of Christ is compared to the waves of the 
sea. Because, 1. It covers over the highest sins. 2. It covers 
over again and again. 3. It is infinite righteousness. You can- 
not count the waves of the sea. 

Inference. — God wishes men to be saved. God sometimes 
pleads with men to be saved for his own pleasure ; it would be 
pleasant to him ; it would make him glad ; as in the parable of 
the lost sheep. Sometimes he pleads for his own glory. Jer. 
xiii. 10; Mai. ii. 1. But here it is for the happiness of sinners 
themselves. So Psalm ixxxi. 13. Once more he pleads with 
men, because unwilling that any should perish. 2 Pet. iii. 9. 

" Now to him that workcth is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But 
to him that worketh not. but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his 
faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness 
of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying. Bles- 
sed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed 
is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.'' — Romans iv. 4-S. 

I. The way in wliich the natural 7na?i seeks salvation. — Verse 
4 " Worketh." Wishes it to be of desert. 

II. The better way. — The old way. David's, Abel's. " Work- 
e::h not." 

Ill The blessedness. — David speaks of this. 


At a later period he took the same text, dividing it thus :— 

I. The working plan. 

II, The believing plan. 

"Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor. — Prov- 
erbs xiv. 9. 

I. What the natural heart thinks of sin. — 1. Men sin easily. 
As a fountain casting out its waters. Jer. vii. Such is the na- 
tural flow of their heart. 2. They bear the load lightly. At 
ease in Zion. 3. The heavier the load, they sin the more easily. 
Like a river filled, Eph. iv. 19. 

II. What God thinks of sin. — 1. He says he hates it. Jer. 
xliv. 4. 2. He has prepared hell for it. 3. He has punished it 
in his Son. 

III. What awakened souls think of it. — Rom. vii. 9 ; John xvi. ; 
Ps. li. The jailor. The sting. 

IV. What believers think of it. 

"Beloved, let us love one another ; for love is of God ; and every one that loveth is 
born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God ; for God 
is love. In this was manifested tue love of God toward us, because that God sent 
his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is 
love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the pro- 
pitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one 
another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another God 
dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell 
in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." — 1 John iv. 7-13. 

I. // is a delicate love. — " Beloved, let us love one another." 

II. It is self-denying love. — Verse 11. Hear its language — 
" If God so loved us, we ought," &c. 

III. It is God-like love. — Verse 12. It is produced by the 
Spirit of God moving in the heart, and it imitates God. " If God 
so loved," &c. 

IV. It is never-failing love. — For no fountain is so unfailing as 
the heart of God, which is its fountain. 

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 
the spirit of grace and of supplications : and they shall look upon me whom they 
have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, 
and they shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first 

born .In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, 

and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." — Zecuariah 
xii. 10; xiii. 1. 

I. The great spring. — " I will pour." 

II. The great agent. — " The spirit of grace and supplication." 
lil. The effect. — They look ; they mourn ; they see the foun- 
tain opened. 

VOL. I. 17 

ifcfiid SERMONS. 

"The Lord our Righteousness." — Je&emiah xxziii. 16. 

Deep wounding, from views of Christ pierced by our sins, pre- 
cedes deep peace from views of his righteousness. Origina'ly 
spoken to Judah and Israel. 

I. It is the slight of a Divine righteousness. — Jehovah has 
made the atonement. 

II. It is a living righteousness. — Jehovah is the righteousness. 
A living one gives it. He is exalted to give it. He comes to you 
witli the ofler of it. 

III. It is an appropriated righteousness. — It would not give 
me peace to see all the world clothed in Christ, if I were not. 
No delight to me except I am sitting under his shade myself — un- 
der the rock. The joy of Paul was, "Christ is made unto us;'* 
of Thomas, " My Lord." 

Ap])lic(ition. — 1. The rest of a believer consists in knowing 
that Jehovah is his righteousness. 2. The folly of those who rest 
m seeking is evident — "ever learning." 3. We see the misery 
of unbelievers. There is a glorious divine righteousness that 
would make the blackest fair. It will be your eternal torment, 
that so glorious a righteousness was offered you, and you died 
without it. 

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that eat on it. from whose face the earth 
and the heaven fled away ; and there was found no place for them. And I saw 
the dead, small and great, stand before God : and the books were opened ; and 
another bonk was opened, which is the book of life : and the dead were judged out 
of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And 
the sea gave up the dead which were in it ; and death and hell delivered up the 
desid which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their 
works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second 
death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into tho 
hike of fire." — Revelation xx. 11-15. 

I. The Throne and the Judge. 

The Throne. 1. Great. — Because so many are to stand before 
it ; because so great a Saviour is to sit down upon it ; because ever- 
lasting sentences are to be given out from it. 2. White. — Be- 
cause of his holiness, because of his equity. He will be lighteous 
in acquitting and in condemning. None can cast a stain upon it. 
The Judge. — Christ himself. 1. Because he is the Son of Man ; 
knows by experience our inmost feelings. John v. 22-27. 2. As 
a reward for his pains. Philip, ii. 3. For the comfort of the 
godly. 4. For the confusion of the Christless. 

Lessons. — 1. Prepare for it. 2. Go to a throne of grace. 3. 
Care for one another's souls. 

II. The judged. — 1. All. The dead, small and great ; men of 
al! ranks and degrees ; rulers and subjects ; parents and children ; 
pastors and people ; none too high, none too low. 2. From all 
places; grave, sea, death, hell. 3. Stand together. Philip, iv. 
1. ; 1 Thes. ii. 4. Before God. 5. Must come forth. John v. 


III. The Books opened. — 1. The Book of Remembrance — Mala- 
chi iii. ; Ps. Ivi. Thoughts, words, and actions ; secret sins done 
in the heart, or in the dark ; secret fraud and uncieanness ; for- 
gotten sins. The good deeds of the saints ; a cup of cold water; 
Mary's ointment; not according to your appearance, nor your 
professions, nor the thoughts of other men, nor your own self- 
flatterers, but by "works." — 2. The Bible — John xii. 48. The 
law ; the gospel ; not according to your present rule ; men judge 
themselves by one another, or by themselves, or by their fancy. — 
3. Book of Life — To show that his everlasting counsels have 
been fulfilled. To show the source from which every one was 

IV. The Sentence. — 1. This explains why God does not now 
take vengeance. Did not the hand wither ? The Atheist in 
France. The railway. 2. The folly of secret sin. 3. Repent. 
God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because he hath 
appointed a day in which he will judge the world. 


[It will be interesting to many to see how his rich imagination used at times to 
revel amid the beautiful images ;tnd figures of the Divine Word. I insert two spe- 
cimens, of which the first was written in his earlier days, when his taste for Scrip- 
ture imagery was fresh, and his peculiar style just foiming. It is a critical essay 
read in the Exegetieal Society, while he was a student iu the Divinity Hall.] 

"O, Lord God, I pray thee, let me go over and see the good 
land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon." 
Such was the prayer of Moses in the land of Moab. Whether he 
had heard by report of the glory of snow-capped Lebanon from 
Egyptian traffickers in balm and myrrh and spiceries, or knew of 
it only by finding it in the charter of Israel's promised inheri- 
tance ; there is a peculiar beauty and fulness in the prayer, when, 
as descriptive of the good land, he asks to see the chief object of 
its moral beauty, and that of its chief natural beauty — Zion and 
Lebanon — the one the type of all spiritual, the other of all tempo- 
ral blessings to Israel. What a refreshing sight to his eye, yet 
undimmed with age, after resting for forty years on the monoto- 
nous scenery of the desert, now to rest upon Zion,* embosomed 
in olive-clad hills, and Lebanon with its vine-clad base, and over- 
hanging forests, and towering peaks of snow ! " I pray thee, let 
me go over and see the good land, that goodly mountain, and 

The same taste which inspired the wish of the venerable law- 
giver, descended to the people whom he led to Canaan to such a 

♦ That Zion was known to the Isi-aelites before they reached Canaan, if not by 
name, at least as a holy mountain, see such passages as Exod. xv. 17. •• Thou shall 
bring them in and plant them in tfie mountain of thine inheritance, in the plac; rvhich 
*hou liast madefo-r them to dwell in, iti the sanctuary which thy liands liave establishedP 


degree, that Zi^n and Lebanon have afforded more materials for 
figure and allusion to tiie prophets and sweet singers of Israel 
than perhaps any other individual natural objects whutever. To 
consider the beauty and propriety of a few of these allusions to 
Lebanon is the object of my present investigation. 

I. The first passage 1 mean to observe upon is the 29th Psalm 
— " a Psalm of David," in which the strength of Jehovah is cele- 
brated ; and the exemplification of it is evidently taken from a 
thunder-storm in Lebanon. The Psalm seems to be addressed to 
the angels 4 see Psalm Ixxxix. 7. It thus begins — 

I " Render unto Jeliovah, yc sons of the mighty, 

I Render unto Jehovah glory and sti-ength; 

Render to Jehovah the glory of his name; 

Bow down to Jehovah in the majesty of holiness !" 

Immediately follows the description of the thunder-storm, in 
which it does not seem fanciful to observe the historical progres- 
sion which is usual on such occasions. The first lines seem to 
describe only the noise of the thunder, the description growing 
more intense as the rumbling draws nearer. 

" The voice of Jehovah is above the waters ; 
The God of Glory thundereth ! 
Jehovah is louder than many waters. 
The voice of Jehovah is strength, 
The voice of Jehovah is majesty !" 

But now the effects become visible ; the storm has descended 

on the mountains and forests : — 

" The voice of Jehovah shivers the cedars. 
Even shivers Jehovah the cedars of Lebanon ; 
And makes them to skip, like a calf, 
Lebanon and Sirion, like a young buffalo. 
The voice of Jehovah forketh the lightning's flash !" 

From the mountains the storm sweeps down into the plains, 
where, however, its effects are not so fearful as on the moun- 

" The voice of Jehovah causeth the desert to tremble — 
The voice of Jehovah causeth to tremble the desert of Kadesh — 
The voice of Jehovah causeth the oaks to tremble, 
And lays bare the forests ! 
Therefore, in his temple every one speaks of his glory." 

The description of the swollen torrents closes the scene — 

" Jehovah upon the rain-torrent sittcth, 
Yea, sitteth Jehovah a king forever." 

And the moral or application of the whole is — 

" Jehovah to his people will give strength ; 
Jehovah will bless his people with peace." 

T have to remark several things in connection with Lebanon 
which may illustrate this beautiful Psalm. That thunder-storms 
are frequent in these mountains is matter of historical fact ; inso- 


much that Volney could not give a description of the magnificent 
view from the top of Lebanon without mentioning, "clouds roll- 
ing at your feet," as one ingredient in the scener3\ As the Medi- 
terranean Stretches away from the very foot of Lebanon, we can 
be at no loss to find the " many waters," whose roaring was 
drowned in the voice of Jehovah's thunder. Or, if our interpre- 
tation of the particle (" above") be thought not the usual one, we 
may imagine that the storm came over the sea, and that the spec- 
tator, standing on Lebanon, and watching its progress as it ad- 
vances towards him, says — 

^ " The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters — 

The God of Glory thundereth ! 
Jehovah is upon many waters !" 

The increasing growling of the thunder when it reaches the 
mountains, and reverberates among the vallies, is well represented 
in the increasing power of the lines, 

" The voice of Jehovah is in strength, , 

The voice of Jehovah is majesty !" 

The only remark which I make upon the cedars at present is, 
that, by the testimony of all travellers, " These noble trees grow 
amongst the snow, near the highest peak of Lebanon." — (See 
Maundrell.) This fact gives peculiar significancy to their being 
placed first in the work of devastation : and also their great size. 
" The old ones which remain (says Maundrell) are of a prodigious 
bulk. I measured one of the largest, and found it twelve yards 
six inches in girth, and yet sound, and thirty-seven yards in the 
spread of its boughs. At about five or six yards from the ground, 
it was divided into five limbs, each of which was equal to a great 
tree." The testimony of Pococke, in 1738, is very similar. The 
testimony of another traveller, quoted by RosenmuUer, is also in- 
teresting, showing well the intensiveness of the parallelism. " We 
saw others, indeed," says he, " on the confines of Judea and Sa- 
maria, but nowhere so lofty as in Lebanon." 

" The voice of Jehovah shivers the cedars, 
Jehovah shivers even the cedars of LebanonP 

These mighty trees of God, which for ages have stood the force 
of the tempest, rearing their ever green colossal boughs in the 
region of everlasting snow, are the first objects of the fury of the 
lightning, which is well known to visit first the highest objects. 

The sixth verse presents rather more difficulty. The original is, 

" And makes them skip like a young calf, 
Lebanon and Sirion, like a young buffalo." 

At first sight it might appear that the cedars were still meant, 
and that Lebanon and Sirion were used by metonymy for the 
cedars which grew upon them. But, L We never hear of cedars 
growing upon Sirion, or Shenir, or Hermon, for it has all these 


names ; and, 2. There is a parallel passage where this interpreta- 
tion will hardly answer in Psaim cxiv. Describing the exodus of 
Israel, it says, 

" The mountains skipt like rams, 
And the little hills like lambs/' 

The same verb* occurs here, the verb which means " to skip, 
to dance," used in Nahum iii. 2, to signify the jolting of chariots, 
and also in Joel ii. 5. In both these instances, rough motion, ac- 
companied with noise, seems intended. Now, though this may 
very well be understood as a highly figurative description, as it 
undoubtedly is, of the usual effects of a thunder-stol-m ; yet it is 
interesting to compare it with the following passage of Volney, 
which describes certain phenomena as frequent in Mount Leba- 
non, which may give a new meaning to the '' skipping of the 
mountains : — 

" When the traveller," says he, " penetrates the interior of these 
mountains, the ruggedness of the roads, the steepness of the de- 
clivities, the depth of the precipices, have at first a terrific effect : 
but the sagacity of the mules which bear him soon inspires him 
with confidence, and enables him to examine at his ease ^ji::4pic- 
turesque scenes which succeed one another so as almost to bewil- 
der him. There, as in the Alps, he sometimes travels whole days 
to arrive at a spot which was in sight when he set out. He turns, 
he descends, he winds round, he climbs ; and under this perpetual 
change of position, one is ready to think that a magical power is 
varying at every step the beauties of the landscape. Sometimes 
villages are seen, ready as it were to slide down the steep decliv- 
ities, and so disposed that the roofs of the one row of houses serve 
as a street to the row above. At another time, you see a convent 
seated on an isolated cone, like Marshaia in the valley of Tigre. 
Here a rock is pierced by a torrent, forming a natural cascade, as 
at Nahr-el-Lehan ; there another rock assumes the appearance of 
a natural wall. Often on the sides, ledges of stones, washed down 
and left by the waters, resemble ruins disposed by art. In some 
places, the waters, meeting with inclined beds, have undermined 
the intermediate earth, and have formed caverns, as at Nahr-el- 
Kelb, near Antoura. In other places, they have worn for them- 
selves subterranean channels, through which flow little rivulets 
during part of the year, as at Mar Hama. Sometimes these pic- 
turesque circumstances have become tragical ones. Rocks loos- 
ened or thrown off their equilibrium by thaw or earthquake, have 
been known to precipitate themselves on the adjacent dwellings, 
and crush the inhabitants. An accident of this kind, about twenty 
years ago, buried a whole village near Mar Djordos, so as to leave 
no trace of its existence. More recently, and near the same spot, 
the soil of a hill, planted with mulberry trees and vines, detached 

• The original Hebrew words are given in the MS. throughout. 


itself by a sudden thaw, and, sliding over the surface of the rock 
which it had covered, like a vessel launched from the stocks, es- 
tablished itself entire in the valley below." 

In the next line, the storm has forced its way to the unenclosed 
plains, or to the Arabian desert, according to Rosenmuller. 

" The voice of Jehovah causeth the desert to tremble, 
The voice of Jehovah causeth to tremble the desert of Kadesh." 

That Kadesh-Naphtali is meant, the geographical position of Leb- 
anon would make us believe ; though this is not necessary. And 
although Syria is much exposed to earthquakes — as, for example, 
that of Aleppo in 1822, which was sensibly felt at Damascus — yet 
it does not seem necessary to imagine anything farther than the 
usual effects of a thunder-storm. 

The oaks and forests of verse 9 suit well with the description 
given of the lower limbs of Lebanon, which abound in " thickets 
of myrtle, woods of fir, walnut-trees, carob-trees, and Turkish 
oaks." And the rain-torrent of verse 10 is admirably descrip- 
tive of the sudden swell of the thousand streams which flow from 
Lebanon. According to modern travellers, the number of water- 
courses descending from Lebanon is immense ; and the sudden- 
ness of the rise of these streams may be gathered from the con- 
tradictions in their accounts. The Nahr-el-Sazib is described by 
one as " a rivulet, though crossed by a bridge of six arches ;" by 
another it is called " a large river." The Damour (the ancient 
Tamyras), which flows immediately from Lebanon, is " a river 
(says Maundrell) apt to swell much upon sudden rains ; in which 
case, precipitating itself from the mountains with great rapidity, it 
has been fatal to many a passenger." He mentions a French gen- 
tleman, M. Spon, who, a few years before, in attempting to ford it, 
was hurried down by the stream, and perished in the sea. This 
is one instance of very many in the mountains of Lebanon, where 
the brook, which is usually nearly dry, becomes all at once an im- 
passable torrent. When Volney looked upon the rivers of Syria 
in summer, he doubted whether they could be called rivers. But 
had he ventured to cross them after a thunder-storm, his scepti- 
cism would no longer have had room or time to exercise itself, and 
he would have felt the propriety of the Psalmist's painting, when 
he says — 

" Jehovah sitteth on the rain-torrents, 
Jehovah sitteth a king forever." 

'But the imagery of this Psalm is not more beautiful and appro- 
priate than is the moral application. To what end this painting 
of fearful power — of strength able to break through all obstacles, 
shiver the cedars and shake the mountains 1 All this might, so 
fearfully exemplified in the thunder, is exercised by Jehovah for 
his people. Every attribute of Jehovah is on their side. And the 
sweet calm which follows upon the thunder-storm — when the 


sun breaks through the dusky clouds and makes all nature smile 
again with renewed and heightened brightness — is not more bril- 
liant and delightful than the peace with which Jehovah blesses 
those for whose sakes he has displayed the might of his arm. 

" Jehovah to his people will give strength :" 


" Jehovah for his people will display strength ; 
Jehovah will bless his people with peace." 

II. The next passage wherein I shall attempt to examine the 
allusion to Lebanon, is in Psalm Ixxii. IG, rendered in our version 
thus : — 

" There shall be a handful of corn in the earth, 
Upon the top of the mountains ; 
The fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon ; 
And they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth." 

The original words for " handful of corn" are rendered by Gese- 
nius, " Abundance of corn" — -deriving the word from the Arabic 
verb " to disperse," compared with a similar root in Chaldee and 
Hebrew. Though the Septuagint and Syriac are both obscure, 
they yet manifestly favor this rendering. And this beijig the 
meaning, I would understand the whole as a species of introverted 
parallelism, where the outside lines answer to one another, and 
the inside lines form a sort of parenthesis. 

" There shall be abundance of corn in the earth, 
Upon the top of the mountains, 
His fruit shall shake like Lebanon, 
And they of the oily shall flourish like grass of the earth." . 

The earth is to be so thoroughly cultivated in Messiah's day that 
there shall be corn on the very tops of the mountains, for '* his 
fruit shall shake like Lebanon." It is, however, altogether worthy 
of inquiry, with what propriety Lebanon can be brought in to 
paint the extreme fertility and productiveness of the very tops of 
the hill, whick is to signalize Messiah's day. The following pas- 
sage of Volney may perhaps throw some light upon the subject: 
— "By dint of skill and labor, they have compelled a rocky soil 
to become fertile. Sometimes, to avail themselves of the waters, 
they have made a channel for them by means of a thousand wind- 
ings on the declivities, or have arrested them in the valleys by 
embankments. At other times, they have propped up the earth 
that was ready to roll down by means of terraces and walls. 
Almost all the mountains being thus husbanded, present the ap- 
pearance of a staircase, or of an amphitheatre, each tier of which 
is a row of vines or mjlberry-trees. I have counted upon one 
declivity as many as a hundred or a hundred and twenty tiers 
from the bottom of the valley to the top of the hill. I forgot for 
the moment that I was in Turkey." 

The evidence of Volney is unexceptionable. For confirmation, 


however, I may add a sentence from another exellent observer : 
" We passed through a beautiful and romantic country, inhabited 
by the Maronites. The road was along the roots of Libanus. 
The sides of the mountains are interspersed with numerous vil- 
lages, around which the ground is highly cultivated, either with 
corn, vines, olive or mulberry trees, the earth being supported by 
terraces, formed of dry masonry, having the appearance of the 
seats of an amphitheatre." 

To understand the images taken from Mount Lebanon, it is ne- 
cessary to remark, that four enclosures of mountains are described 
as rising one upon another. The first and lowest of these is de- 
scribed as rich in grain and fruits. The second is barren, being 
covered only with thorns, rocks, and flints. The third, though 
higher still, is blessed with a perpetual spring ; the trees are always 
green. There are innumerable orchards laden with fruit, and it 
forms altogether a terrestrial paradise, 

" Where fruits and blossoms blush, 
In social sweetness, on the self-same bough." 

The fourth, or highest ridge of all, is the region of perpetual snow. 
Now, the imagery in the 7'2d Psalm is evidently taken from the 
first of these ridges of Lebanon, where (most probably following 
the ancient mode of cultivating) the monks of Lebanon, for they 
were the chief cultivators of the terraced soil, industriously hus- 
band every particle of productive earth. In the expressive words 
of Burckhardt, " Every inch of ground is cultivated," — so that no 
image could have been more singularly expressive of the univer- 
sal cultivation under Messiah's reign, than to say, that " His fruit 
shall shake like Lebanon ;" or, understanding the Psalmist to speak 
figuratively, what moral landscape could be painted more richly 
than he does when he intimates that those barren mountains of 
our world, which at present yield no fruit unto God, shall be cul- 
tivated in that day so industriously and so fully that the fruit shall 
wave like the terraced corn-fields, or shake like the hanging mul- 
berry-trees on the terraced heights of Lebanon? 

III. My only other allusion from the Psalms is in Psalm xcii. 
12, 14— 

" The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree ; 
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age ; 
They shall be fat and flourishing." 

Laying aside entirely any inquiry as to the palm-tree, and lay- 
ing aside the difficulty contained in the 13th verse, I have only to 
compare this description of the cedar in Lebanon with the ac- 
counts of those who have visited them in modern days. Without 
believing (as the Maronites or Christian inhabitants of the moun- 
tains do) that the seven very ancient cedars which yet remain in 
the neighborhood of the village of Eden in Lebanon are the re- 


mains of the identical forest which furnished Solomon with timber 
for the Temple, full three thousand years ago, they can yet be 
proved to be of very great antiquity. These very cedars were 
visited by IJelonius in 1550, nearly three hundred years ago, who 
found them twenty-eight in number. Rawolf, in 1575, makes them 
twenty-four. Dandini, in 1600, and Thevenot about fifty years 
after, make them twenty-three. Maundrell, in 1606, found them 
reduced to sixteen. Pococke, in 1738, found fifteen standing, and 
a sixteenth recently blown down, or (may we not conjecture ?) 
shivered by the voice of God. In 1810, Burckhardl counted 
eleven or twelve ; and Dr. Richardson, in 1818, states theui to be 
no more than seven. There cannot be a doubt, then, th;it these 
cedars, which were esteemed ancient nearly three hundred years 
ago, must be of a very great antiquity ; and yet they are de- 
scribed by the last of these travellers as '• large, and tall, and beau- 
tiful, the most picturesque productions of the vegetable world that 
we had seen." The oldest are large and massy, rearing their 
heads to an enormous height, and spreading their branches afar. 
Pococke also remarks, that •' the young cedars are not easily known 
from pines. I observed, they bear a greater quantity of fruit than 
the large ones." This shows that the old ones still bear fruit, 
though not so abundantly as the young cedars, which, according 
to Richardson, are very productive, and cast many seeds annually. 
How appropriate, then, and full of meaning, is the imagery of the 
Psalmist — 

" The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree ; 
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They shall still bring forth fruit iu old age ; * 

They shall be fat and flourishing." 

IV. In the Song of Songs the allusions to Lebanon are very 
many and of exquisite beauty. I am sorry that my time will suf- 
fer me only to glance at one in chap. iv. 8-15 : — 

" Come with mc from Lebanon, 
My spouse with me from Lebanon : 
Look from the top of Amana, 
From the top of Shcnir and Hermon, 
From the lions' dens, 
From the mountains of the leopards." 

It is evident here that the bridegroom is pressing the bride to 
quit Lebanon along with him, because of the dann^ers to be appre- 
hended from the beasts of prey. He seems to bid her look I'rom 
these dangerous heights down into the secure and pleasant val- 
leys below, where many a delicious wilderness of flowers and 
fruits are visible. In the mountains above Canobin, tigers are 
said to be frequently met with. I suppose, says Burckhardt, 
ounces are meant. Speaking of some sepulchres cut in the lime- 
stone mountains opposite Saide (ancient Sidon), liasselquist says, 
a great part of them are now open, and serve for huts for shep- 


herds, or dens for wild beasts. And, lastly, we have the story of 

Thammuz — 

" Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured 
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate 
In amorous ditties all a summer's day : 
While smooth Adonis, fi'om his native rock, 
Ran purple to the sea. supposed with blood 
Of Thammuz yearly wounded." 

These testimonies show the propriety with which Lebanon is 
described as dangerous from wild beasts. Looking from the sum- 
mits of the hills, the view, as described by travellers, is exquisite 
in the extreme. Every valley seems cultivated like a garden, 
watered by numberless fountains and rivulets, such as the scene 
to which the bridegroom points the eye of the spouse. By a fine 
turn of thought, he immediately breaks out into a comparison of 
his beloved to one of these gardens : — 

"A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse — 
A spring shut up — a fountain sealed. 
Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, 
With pleasant fruits, camphire, and spikenard, 
Spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, 
With all trees of frankincense ; 
Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices ; 
A fountain of gai'dens, 
A well of living waters, 
And streams from Lebanon." 

I have not now leisure to show, from modern travellers, the 
immense variety of fruit, and flower, and aromatic shrubs with 
which the vales of Lebanon are enriched. The village of Eden 
and the convent of Canobin might alone give illustration of this 
remarkable passage. On the last verse alone do I offer a remark. 
The spouse is compared to three kinds of fountains — 1. To a 
fountain of gardens ; an artificial fountain, so distributed that it 
supplies more than one garden, or different parts of the same gar- 
den. 2. To a well of living waters ; a fresh springing well to 
supply the fountain. And, 3. To streams from Lebanon, rivulets 
constantly descending from the snow of Lebanon, and subterra- 
neously supplying the well of living waters. This is a most pre- 
cise and accurate description of a great number of the garden- 
fountains at the foot of Mount Libanus. Of the first, the garden 
of Fahkr-el-din, near Tyre, gives a good example. " The walks 
are shaded with orange-trees of a large spreading size, and all of 
so fine a growth that one cannot imagine anything more perfect 
in their kind. Every one of these lesser squares was bordered 
with stone ; and in the stone-work were troughs, very artificially 
contrived, for conveying the water all over the garden, there 
being little outlets at every tree for the stream as it passes by to 
flow out and water it." Ras-el-ayin, where are Solomon's cis- 
terns, may illustrate the whole passage. " There are three cisterns 
entire at this day ; one about a furlong and a half from the sea, 


the other two a little further up. The former is of an octagonal 
figure, twenty-two yards in diameter. Upon the brink of it you 
have a wajlv round eigiit feet broad, from which descending you 
have another walk twenty-one feet broad. Tlie whole vessel 
contains a vast body of excellent water, and is so well supi)lied 
from its fountain, that, though there issues from it a stream like 
a brook during four miles, yet it is always brimful. On the east 
side of this cistern was the ancient outlet of the water by an aque- 
duct, raised about sixty yards from the ground, and containing a 
channel one yard wide. 

" The fountain of these waters is as unknown as the author of 
them, it is certain, from their rising so high, that they must be 
brought from some part of the mountains, which are about a league 
distant ; and it is as certain that the work w as well done at fust, 
seeing it performs its office at so great a distance of time. Has- 
selquist is probably right in concluding that the water which fills 
these reservoirs comes from subterranean springs, and rises in 
their bottoms, as it does in the hirkets, or reservoirs, in the road 
from Damascus to Jacob's Bridge. Are we to suppose the source 
fictitious, and formed by a subterraneous canal drawn from the 
mountains ? But why not have brought the cistern to the rock 
itself? It is a more simple explanation to suppose it natural, and 
to conclude that advantage has been taken of one of these ancient 
or subterranean rivers, of which Syria presents numerous in- 
stances. The idea of imprisoning this stream to make it re-ascend 
and gain its level, is worthy of the Phoenicians." — {Modern Travels 
in Si/ria, p. 36.) 

Such, then, in some degree, is the image by which the bride- 
groom portrays the bride ; and in reflecting upon it, it is hardly 
possible to resist the risings of imagination when we remember 
that the bridegroom is the Saviour, and the bride the Church of 
the Redeemed. The subterranean streams from Lebanon answer 
so well to the unseen supplies of grace, and the well of living 
waters to the living water which is in the believer springing up 
unto everlasting life, and the fountain of gardens to the fertilizing 
stream of love and of good works wherewith he nourishes and 
diff"uses his good things to all around, that we may be pardoned 
for thus laying aside lor a moment the severity of sober criticism 
to indulge the dream of a not unholy imagination. 


When you would teach a little child in the simplest and most 
interesting way, you do it by means of pictures. In the very 
same way did God teach Israel concerning him who was the con- 
solation of Israel. When they sat under the shadow of the Pillar 


Cloud, and were sheltered from the burning rays of an eastern 
sun, God wanted to teach them that Christ was a shade on their 
right hand — that he would come between them and the burning 
wrath of God. When they followed the light of the pillar of 
fire, God wanted to teach them that Christ was the light of this 
world — that whoso follovveth him shall not walk in darkness. 
When they gathered the snow-white manna, and ground it in 
mills, and baked it in pans, God wanted to teach them that a 
bruised Saviour must be the daily food of our soul. When they 
drank of the gushing river that flowed out of the smitten rock, 
God wanted to teach them that they might daily receive the full 
streams of the Holy Spirit from the smitten Saviour — that if any 
man thirst he should come to Christ and drink. 


But of all the types and images of the glorious Saviour, the 
most living, the most wonderful, was the Jewish High Finest, 
with his holy garments for glory and for beauty. — See Exodus 
xxviii. 2. These garments were glorious and beautiful in two re- 
spects, — first. They had a natural glory : they were made of the 
costliest materials — of gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and 
fine twined linen, verse 5. No expense of labor or of riches was 
spared to make them splendid and attractive. But second, They 
had a spiritual glory — a glory and a beauty that far excelled the 
other, inasmuch as they clearly represented the excellencies of 
Christ our glorious High Priest and Saviour. 

May the Lord lift away the veil, and reveal to us from under 
the covering, our glorious Immanuel, so that every soul may 
cry out, He is the chief among ten thousand, and altogether 

I. The Ephod and the Robe of the Ephod, verse 6-8, 31, 32. — 
Observe three things with regard to it. 1. It was made of the 
finest materials (v. 6) — of gold, and of blue, of purple, of scarlet, 
and of fine twined linen — the richest of metals was there — the 
deepest, most beautiful dyes — the finest and purest linen ; 2, It 
was wrought with the greatest skill, (v. 32) — God seems actually 
to have given the spirit of wisdom to the workmen who made it ; 
it is said to have been made with " cunning work," and the girdle, 
which was part of the ephod, is called the " curious girdle ;" 3. It 
covei'ed the Priest from head to foot. The ephod and the robe, 
when put together, formed a complete garment. 

How plainly does this point out the beautiful garment of our 
Redeemer's righteousness — his glorious finished work which he 
came from heaven to work out. 1. It is of the finest materials — • 
it is the suflferings and obedience of the Son of God — of God 
manifest in flesh. Ah, who can tell the costliness of that robe ! 
It is called (Psalm xiv.) " clothing of wrought gold," " raiment of 


needlework." It is called (Rev. iii. 18) gold and fine linen — "1 
counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire." 2. It was 
wrought with all the skill of heaven ; for the Gospel is the power 
of God and the wisdom of God. In Christ are hid all the trea- 
sures of wisdom and knowledge. Angels desire to look into these 
things. It is the mystery of God and of Christ. 3. It covered 
Christ from head to foot — it coveTed his whf)le soul from the cra- 
dle to the cross ; so that he was beautiful and glorious in the eyes 
of the Father. " This is my beloved Son in whom I am well 

Dear friends, put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. Have no con- 
fidence in the flesh ; but rejoice in Christ Jesus. Put on this 
ephod of righteousness, this cunning work of God, this curious 
girdle of a Redeemer's righteousness. There is the gold of 
Christ's Godhead in it — the purple and scarlet of a Redeemer's 
blood — the fine twined linen of his spotless obedience. With 
what confidence the High Priest could enter the holiest when 
clothed with this wonderful garment; so you, clothed in Christ, 
may come boldly to the throne of grace, to find mercy and grace 
to help in time of need. " I counsel thee," &c. 

II. The Stones on his shoulders, 9-12. — Observe three things 
here — 1. That they were precious stones on which the names 
of the children of Israel were engraved, "two onyx stones;" 
2. That they were set in ouches, or sockets of gold, and fastened by 
chains ; 3. That these two stones were put upon the high priest's 
shoulders, and he was to bear them before the Lord upon his 

How plainly does this point out the care that the great Re- 
deemer takes of all that are his own ! 1. They are precious in 
his sight — they are his jewels; and "they shall be mine, saith the 
Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." " Ye shall 
"^e a peculiar treasure unto me above all people ; for all the earth 
lb ne." They are redeemed with his blood : no wonder they 
are piccious. When a man has spent much on anything it be- 
comes precious to him. 2. They are set in sockets of gold, and 
bound to him with chains of gold. These chains and sockets of 
gold are the love of Christ — his electing love — his drawing love — 
his covenant love. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love; 
therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." 3. They are 
on his shoulders ; so are all believers. " When he hath found it 
he layeth it on his shoulders rejoicing.'' Never does the Saviour 
find a lost soul, but he sets him high on his shoulder. " Even to 
your old age I am he ; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you : I 
have made, and I will bear ; even I will carry, and will deliver you." 

Have you taken Christ to be your surety and High Priest ? 
1. Then you are on his shoulder — engraved there, set in gold there, 
chained there — you shall never perish. He lias set you as a seal 


upon his arm. Lean all your weight on him. Do not distrust 
him. You cannot carry yourself. Lean all on him. 2. Be like 
Christ. You too are a priest. Be like Christ in this. Bear up 
the children of God. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil 
the law of Christ. Look not every one on his own things, but 
every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you 
which was also in Christ Jesus. Be helpers of one another's joy. 

III. Breastplate of Judgment, 15-29. — Observe three things. 
1. Here also all the names of the children of Israel were graven 
on precious stones ; but observe the difference. Before there 
were two onyx stones ; here are twelve different stones — all dif- 
ferent — all precious. 2. Here also the stones were set in gold 
enclosmgs, and the whole was bound to the ephod with golden 
chains. 3. It was fastened, not upon his shoulders, but upon his 
breast over his heart, verse 29. Aaron shall bear. 

How plainly does this point out a new feature in the love and 
tenderness of Christ for his own redeemed ones ! 

1. Observe how precious his people are to him. There is a 
variety among the stones — every one is different, yet all are pre- 
cious. So there is a great variety among Christ's people, yet all 
are precious to Christ. Some are chosen in infancy, like John 
the Baptist and Jeremiah, sanctified from the womb. Some are 
chosen in old age. Some are taken who have committed but little 
sin, like Martha and Mary. Some who have committed much, 
like the woman which was a sinner, and the dying thief. Some 
are taken from a cottage, some from a palace ; all different, yet 
all jewels in the eyes of the Redeemer. 

2. Observe they are all bound upon his heart. So believers 
are bound on Christ's heart when he goeth in before the Father. 
He is able to save to the uttermost. Dear children of God, you 
often think that Christ forgetteth you, that the glories of heaven 
have dazzled his eyes, that the songs of angels have entranced 
his ear, that the joys of his Father's right hand have filled all his 
heart, that he has no thought of you. See here, you are bound 
to his heart, you are enclosed there, graven there. " Like as a 
father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." 
"Behold, my mother and my brethren." He is a friend that 
sticketh closer than a brother. Can a mother forget her sucking 
child? WiU you ever distrust Christ anymore? "I will pray 
the Father ;" " he maketh intercession for us." " I pray for them ; 
I pray not for the world ;" "neither prav I for these alone." 

Be like Christ. Ye are priests. Let the children of God be 
precious to you : bound to your hearts with golden chains of love. 
Love all God's children ; especially pray for them. Brethren 
pray for us. 

IV. The Plate on forehead, 36-38. — Observe three things. 


1. That it was a plate of pure gold — not wrought gold, nor mixed 
with any thing else, but pure gold. 2. That holiness to the Lord 
was deeply engraven on it ; it was not superficially written, but 
graven like a seal. 3. It was to be always on the forefront of his 
mitre, and on his forehead — conspicuous without concealment. 

How ])lainly does this point out the native holiness of our glori- 
ous Redeemer ! From first to last he was a holy Saviour. 1. His 
holiness was like the fine gold — without mixture, without alloy. 

2. It was deeply engraved in his heart — not mere appearance 
outside holiness. 3. It was obvious, open holiness. It was visi- 
ble in his holy brow, in his meek and dove-like eye. His whole 
life w^as holiness to the Lord. Such an high priest became us, who 
was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Even 
in his mother's womb he was "that holy thing." In his life "he 
did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." In his death 
" he through the eternal Spirit offered himself w^ithout spot unto 
God." He was as it were the essence of holiness. This might 
well be the motto on his brow — ILjliness to the Lord. 

1. Learn what a complete Saviour we have. If he had had 
one sin or infirmity he would have needed to have died for his 
own sin. But he knew no sin, and was therefore made sin for us. 
O rejoice in this holy Saviour. 

2. Learn to be like him. " I am the vine, ye are the branches." 
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. If you are saved 
by Christ's blood, be filled with Christ's spirit. Remember you 
too must be holiness to the Lord. The Spirit must write the law 

• upon your heart — grave it deeply ; and yet let your light so shine 
before men, that they seeing your good works may glorify your 
Father which is in heaven. Your holiness must be in your heart, 
and yet upon your forehead too. Let every thing you have and 
are be devoted to him. On the bells upon the horses, let it be 
written — " Holiness to the Lord." 

V. The Bells and Pomegranates, 33-35. — L The pomegra- 
nate is a tree with a beautiful flower and fruit, growing in fruit- 
ful gardens. It was used in the high priest's garments to mark 
fruitfulness and fragrance. 2. The bell w^as to give a pleasant 
tinkling sound whenever the high priest w^alked, in going in or 
coming out. How plainly did this signify that wherever Christ 
goes there is the fragrance of sweetest gardens, and a gladsome 
sound of melody ! There was once a time in Scotland w^hen our 
glorious High Priest walked amid the golden candlesticks — when 
he came into his garden, and fed among the lilies. O that Christ 
would come in among you, and reveal himself unto you ! Then 
would the winter be past — the rains would be over and gone— 
the flowers would appear on the earth, and the time of the sing 
ing of birds be come. His presence makes summer — all his 
garments smell of myrrh. Your souls would become a well- 


watered garden. When Jesus comes in it is gladsome music to 
the soul. It is like the sound of the silver trumpets ; it is the me- 
lody of bells. Happy is the people that know the joyful sound — 
" I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all 
people." Has the sound of a present Saviour ever fallen upon 
your ear 1 

Christians, you are priests. Be like Christ in this, 1, Wher- 
ever you go carry a savor of Christ. His name is like ointment 
poured forth ; it is like the vine flourishing and the pomegranate 
budding. Let men take knowledge of you that you have been 
with Jesus ; let it be plain that you come from within the vaiJ 
let the smell of your garments be as a field which the Lord hatti 
blessed. 2. Carry a sound of Christ wherever you go. Not a 
step, Christians, without the sound of the gospel bell ! Even in 
smallest things be spreading the glad sound. Edwards says 
wherever a godly person enters, he is a greater blessing than if 
the greatest monarch were entering. So be it with you. 

Now, my dear friends, it appears to me that even the tracts for 
which you contribute are like those little bells. They are small 
and despised by some, yet they carry the clear sound of the gos- 
pel wherever they go. What Christian among you would not 
love to see them multiplied, till every family on the globe should 
hear the message of mercy ? Come, then, to the help of the 
Lord against the mighty. 


The Holy Place was the first character of the tabernacle, into 
which all the priests were allowed to enter continually to trim the 
lamps, and light them at evening — to burn incense at the golden 
altar, and to arrange the shew-bread on the golden table. Its 
contents were, the golden candlestick, the altar of incense, not 
here mentioned, and the table of shew-bread. 

I dare not speak positively on so difficult a subject, but I will open 
up freely what appears to me to be the true meaning of the Holy 

I think it represented the condition of Christ mystical, that is, 
of Christ and his Church before the vail was rent — i.e. before the 
death of Christ. 

1; TJiere was a bright golden candlestick, filled with beaten 
oil, lighted every evening by the priest. This clearly repre- 
sented Chris*, and his members, filled with the Holy Spirit. But 
then the ligh'; was confined to a small chamber ; it did not spread 
afar, like a beacon across the dark world. So Christ and his 
"oeople, during the Old Testament Church, were a shrouded light. 
it was a golden candlestick filled with oil and lighted, but its 
Deams confined within boards and curtains. It is true, a few 
stray beams did escape, so as to attract the Queen of Sheba from 
a far country, and the Ethiopian eunuch in his chariot, and the 

VOL. I. 18 


Roman centurion, who loved their nation, and built them a syna- 
gogue. Still the Jewish Church was not evangelistic. It was not 
intended at that time to spread the light to other nations. But 
when Jesus comes, he breaks clown the boards and curtains, and 
says, " Ye are the light of the world," " among whom ye shine as 
lights in the world." 

2. In like manner, there was a golden altar where incense was 
burnt every morning and evening, representing the intercession 
of Christ and his saints. Still, it is remarkable that this altar was 
not within the vail ; it w^as not in the holiest of all. 

The Holy Ghost here plainly signified, that the Church in the 
wilderness had not that liberty in prayer which we now have. 
They had not that intimate nearness to God wiiich the New Tes- 
tament believers enjoy. It is true, Israel were a praying people. 
David sought God's face seven times a-day, and Daniel kneeled 
upon liis knees three times a-day ; and the ()7th Psalm shows that 
they often remembered us poor Gentiles in their intercessions. 
" God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine 
upon us, that thy way may be known on the earth, and thy saving 
health among all nations." Still, they had not that near, full, in- 
timate liberty at the throne of grace which is granted to those 
who are taught by the Spirit to pray, — Let us draw near, Abba, 

3. There was a pure table covered with twelve loaves, a loaf 
for each tribe of Israel ; and only the priests were allowed to eat 
it. This plainly intimated Christ offered only to the twelve tribes 
of Israel — the dispensation in which the offer of salvation was 
nearly confined to the Jews. How different from the day when 
Jesus broke the loaves, and distributed to the multitudes ! or that 
day when Jesus said, " I am the bread of God which cometh 
down from heaven, and giveth life unto the ivorld. I am the 
bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he 
that believeth on me shall never thirst ?" 

The holy place was then a shadow of good things to come. O 
how great is our privilege who live in the clear gospel day ! and 
how awful your condemnation, if, when the shadows are fled 
away, and Christ the substance is freely offered, you still reject 
him. ■" If he that despised Moses' law died without mercy under 
two or three witnesses, of how much sorer punishment, suppose 
ye, shall he be thought w'orthy who hath trodden under foot the 
Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant an un- 
holy thing, and done despite unto the Spirit of grace ?" 


I, lis sit7intion and name, verse 3. — After the second va>-.. 
The vail here spoken of is described Ex. xxvi. 31-33. It ws«v 
made of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. It 
hung upon four pillars, and divided between the holy place and 


the most holy. It is the same vail that was rent in twain when 
Jesus died ; Matt, xxvii. 51. 

The chamber here mentioned then was the innermost of all — 
four square, the walls composed of boards overlaid with gold, 
covered in with curtains, having no light except the bright cloud 
that dwelt between the cherubims, the token that God had his 
dwelling there. 

II. Its contents. — 

1. The golden censer. — Verse 4. "■ Which had the golden 
censer." This was not the golden altar of incense, which was 
not in the holiest of all. and is not here mentioned. It is the censer 
spoken of, Lev. xvi. 12. On the solemn day of atonement, when 
the high priest entered into the holiest, he first took this golden 
censer and filled it with burning coals from the altar of burnt 
offering. He then entered the holy place and took a handful of 
sweet incense from the golden altar of incense, the incense beaten 
small, and then he drew aside the second vail and entered the 
hohest of all, burning the incense all the time. He was thus sur- 
rounded with a cloud of fragrant incense as. he stood before the 

The meaning of this is very obvious — the Holy Ghost signified 
by this Jesus our Intercessor. If any man sin, we have an ad- 
vocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. This is the 
angel of intercession whom John saw> Rev. viii. 3, offering up 
the prayers of all saints with much incense. The prayers of the 
highest believers are all sinful and polluted. There is so much 
unbelief, so much selfishness, so much forgetfulness mingling with 
all, that every prayer is sin. But if you put them into the golden 
censer. Jesus Christ the righteous will cover all the sin, and offer 
them up with much incense. This is the only way of acceptable 
worship. Is this your way of praying 1 Have you such a sense 
of sin that you are ashamed of your prayers 1 or do you put 
them into Christ's censer? It is an affecting thought that the 
censer of Christ is so often empty — so few prayers, put into it. 
Here is the reason why the prayer of the wicked is an abomina- 
tion to God ; Prov. xv. 8. You do not put it into the censer of 
Jesus to be perfumed with the cloud of incense. 

2. The Ark. — This was a chest made of shittim wood, and 
overlaid round about, i. e. within and without, with pure gold. 
The only thing which it contained in its bosom was the two tables 
of stone on which God wrote, with his own finger, the Ten Com- 
mandments. 1 Kings viii. 9. The ark was the chief thing about 
the tabernacle. It is the first thing Moses was commanded to 
make. Exodus xxv. When Israerbrought the ark into the field 
of battle, the Philistines cried out, '• God is come into their camp." 
It was for the ark of God that Eli's heart trembled ; and when his 
daughter-in-law died, she called her child Ichabod, saying, " The 


glory is departed from Israel, ff»r the ark of God is taken." 1 Sam 
uel iv. 13-i2i2. It was for looking into the ark of God that God 
smote the men f»f Bethshemesh. 1 Samuel vi. 19,20. It was for 
putting out his hand to touch the ark of God that Uzzah died. 
2 vSamuel vi. G. It was the ark of God that brought such bless- 
ing into the house of Obed-edom. 2 Samuel vi. 11. When Solo- 
mon had built the temple, all was incomplete until the ark was 
brought into it ; as it is written in the 132d Psalm, v. 8. " Arise, 

Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength." 
Although we have no express warrant in the Word of God, yet 

1 have no doubt that the ark was intended to represent Christ, the 
fulfiller of all righteousness. 

Jeremiah spake of him, xxiii. 6, " This is his name whereby he 
shall be called, the Lord our righteousness ;" and in the 40th 
Psalm he says to the Father (v. 8), '• I delight to do thy will, O my 
God, yea, thij law is within my heart." And thus when he came 
he told John, " It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." And 
Paul tells us (Rom. v.), " By the obedience of one shall many be 
made righteous." This is the main thing in the Gospel, just as the 
ark was the main thing under the law. Without the ark the taber- 
nacle was but an empty form. Without Christ, our law-fulfilling 
righteousness, religion is but a form and a shadow. 

Is the Lord our righteousness the main thing in your soul ? 
Has the ark of God its proper place in your heart? Arise, O 
Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength. 

3. The hidden manna. — " Wherein was the golden pot that had 
manna." When God led Israel through the wilderness, " he fed 
them with the corn of heaven; man did eat angels' food." He 
rained down manna on them every morning for forty years. At 
that time God commanded them to preserve an omer of it (enough 
for one person) in a golden pot (Exodus xvi. 32), " that they may 
see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness." Paul 
here tells us it was kept in a golden pot, beside the ark within the 

There can be no doubt that the manna was a type of Jesus — 
the nourishment of his people. The bread of God is he which 
Cometh down from heaven ana giveth life unto the world. John 
vi. 33. " I am the bread of life." But the hidden manna repre- 
sented Clj^j|l. within the vail ; and accordingly the promise to him 
that overcometh in the Church of Smyrna runs thus — " To him 
tliat overcon.eth will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Rev. ii. 
17. Jesus is not to be our food only in the wilderness, but in 
•eternity ; we shall still feed on that hidden manna — that bread of 

4. Aaron^s Rod. — " And Aaron's rod that budded." This rod 
was originally the branch cf an almond tree, which Moses cut in 
the wildeiness. It became his shepherd's rod. It was the same 
which God changed into a serpent (Exodus iv. 3-17), and made 


it the wonder-working rod. By ii the waters were made blood ; 
the Red Sea was divided. By the same rod the rock was smit- 
ten at Meribah, and gave drink to the many thousands of Israel 
(Exodus xvii.) ; and by it the rock was smitten a second time, 
when Moses spoke unadvisedly with his lips. Num. xx. 9. The 
same rod was laid up before the Lord in the rebellion of Korah 
(Num. xvii.) to prove that the priesthood belonged to the family 
of Aaron. " It budded, and brought forth buds, and blossomed 
blossoms, and yielded almonds." And God commanded it to be 
kept in the holiest of all, as a token against the rebels. We have 
no positive Scripture authority for saying that this rod represented 
Christ ; and yet, who can doubt it ? Originally an almond wand, 
growing in the wilderness, it represents Jesus, the root out of a 
dry gi'ound, without form or comeliness, having no beauty that 
we should desire him. The man whose name is the Branch. 

As the idonder-ioorhing rod — it represents Jesus, the power of 
God — mighty to save, mighty also to destroy — doing as never 
man did, and speaking as never man spake ; so that the people 
said, " It was never so seen in Israel." 

As smiting the rock — it represents Jesus as the priest pouring 
out his soul unto death, submitting to the stroke of his own holy 
\aw, consenting to his own death, and bringing out streams of 
life from his own wounds. 

As blossoming and bearing almonds before the Lord — it repre- 
sents the root out of a dry ground becoming a fruitful vine. It 
represents the fruitfulness of Jesus' priesthood — that his sufferings 
are now past, that he blossoms within the vail. 

5. The mercy-seat. — This was a lid or covering to the ark of 
pure gold, of the same length and breadth as the ark itself; Ex- 
odus XXV. 17. It was the only lid which the ark had, and it fitted 
in exactly, so as to cover it close. The two cherubims stood 
upon itj being of one piece, beaten out of the same pure metal. 
It was upon this lid that the bright cloud, which showed a present 
God, rested, so that it was called the mercy-seat. 

There can be no doubt that this was intended to represent 
Christ, our propitiation. 1st, He is called by this very name, 
Romans iii. 25, where the word rendered a " propitiation" is lit- 
erally " a mercy-seat." 2d, The mercy-seat was sprinkled with 
blood, Lev. xvi. 14, 15. — The blood of the bullock and the blood 
of the goat was sprinkled on the mercy-seat, and before the 
mercy-seat upon the ground. We are nowhere told that the 
blood was ever wiped off that golden mercy-seat, so that there 
can be no doubt it was kept perpetually stained with the blood. 
The bright shining gold of the mercy-seat was kept constantly 
dimmed with the blood, and the ground before it was kept always 
stained with the same, 3d, It was the meeting-place with the 
sinners, Ex. xxv. 22 ; " There will I meet with thee and commune 
with thee from off the mercy-seat." It is the same with " the 


throne of grace," Heb. iv. 16 ; "Let us come boldly to the throne 
of grace, that we may find mercy." Sinners, have you come to 
this mercy-seat, this throne of grace, this propitiation — all washed 
with blood. It is here God is willing to meet with you, and bless 
you, and do you good. Through this man is preached unto you 
the forgiveness of sins. 

G. The cherubim. — " And over it the cherubim of glory shadow- 
ing the mercy-seat." The cherubims were first seen at the en- 
trance of the garden of Eden, one on each side of the flaming 
sword that kept the way of the tree of life. Moses was com- 
manded to make two of gold ; Exodus xxv. 18. They were to 
be beaten out of the mercy-seat, of the same piece of metal ; 
they were to stand upon the mercy-seat, their wings overshadow- 
ing it, and their faces bending toward it. The same creatures 
seem to be described by Isaiah, as seraphim standing above the 
throne ; and by Ezekiel, as bearing God's throne, Ezekiel i. 10 : 
and by John as standing round it. Rev. iv. 

It is now generally agreed by interf)reters, that the cherubims 
were emblems of the Church of the redeemed in heaven. 
1st, They were of one piece with the mercy-seat, even as the 
Church is united to Christ. 2d, They stood upon the mercy-seat, 
sprinkled with blood ; they have no other standing. The blood 
that was sprinkled on the mercy-seat sprinkled them also. 3d, They 
gazed down upon the mercy- seat, even as the redeemed shall 
spend eternity in beholding that amazing propitiation, which 
brought glory to God in the highest, and peace to guilty men. 
4th, They are the dwelling-place of God, Ps. Ixxx. 1 ; " Thou that 
dwellest between the cherubim" — literally, thou that inhabitest 
the cherubim ; but this is said to be the privilege of the redeemed 
alone. " An habitation of God, through the Spirit." Ye are the 
temple of the living God. 5th, They sing, thou hast redeemed 
us; Rev. iv. Are you ever to be in heaven, dear friends, you 
must stand there like the cherubims, your feet upon the blood- 
stained mercy-seat, your eyes fixed on Jesus, our ever-fulfilling 
Saviour ; dwelt in by God and singing, " Thou hast redeemed 

III. Let us consider now the meaning of the chamber itself, 
" The holiest of all." It typified three things. 

1. Christ. — He was the true holiest of all ; Daniel ix. 24. The 
vail is expressly said to be his flesh ; Heb. x. 20. The bright 
cloud, dwelling in frail boards and curtains, represented God man- 
ifest in the flesh. 

2. The gracious presence of God. — This it undoubtedly means, 
Heb. X. 11). Having boldness to enter into the holiest. Believers 
are there invited to draw near into the holiest — to him that dwell- 
eth betw'een the cherubims. It is here we are invited to pour 
out our hearts to God. Have you learned to spend much of 


your time within the vail ? You would be less moved by all the 
changes, and bereavements, and disappointments of a passing 
world. Verse 16 — throne of grace — mourners come draw near 
and pour out your sorrows there. 

3. Heaven itself. — Verse 24, " Into heaven itself.''^ — Proved 
also by the promise of the hidden manna ; Heb. vi. 19. " Which 
hope we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, and 
which entered in within the vail. Christ is the sum of heaven. 
He is the ark in which God's law eternally dwells — the mercy- 
seat where we shall ever meet with God. He is the hidden man- 
na on which we shall eternally feed. He is the rod that budded 
— the true vine that shall nourish us to all eternity. 

Just as the cherubim there stood gazing on the mercy-seat, 
and on the bright cloud that covered it; so the Redeemed shall 
spend eternity in beholding the glory of God in the face of Christ 
Jesus. Are you to enter there ? you must have blood, the blood 
of Jesus, in your hand. You must have the smoke of the incense 
around you, and the white linen coat girding you. Thus and 
thus only will you enter into glory. Even in heaven we must be 
covered with Christ's death and righteousness. You must live in 
Christ, and die in Christ, and spend eternity in Christ. 




IN ST. Peter's parish, dundee, 
Submitted to a Committee of the Presbytery of Aberdeen. 

In December, 1840, the Presbytery of Aberdeen appointed a 
Committee to inquire into the Revivals which had recently oc- 
curred in different parts of the country, or were taking place at 
that time. The Committee, besides hearing evidence viva voce, 
issued queries, which w^ere sent, amongst other ministers, to Mr. 
M'Cheyne. The following are copies of these queries and of his 
answers : — 

" I. Have Revivals taken place in your parish or district ; and, if so, to what ex- 
tent, and by what instrumentality and means ? 

" II. Do you kn8w what was the previous character and habits of the parties ? 

"III. f Tave any who are notorious for drunkenne-ss, or other immoralities, neglect 
of family duties, or public ordinances, abandoned their evil practices, and became 
remarkable for their diligence in the use of the means of grace? 

" IV. Could you condescend on the number of such cases? 

" v. Has the conduct of any of the parties been hitherto consistent : and how lonsr 
has it lasted ? ^ 

" yi. Have the means to which the Revivals are ascribed been attended with be- 
neficial effects on the religious condition of the people at large? 

"VII. Were there public manifestations of physical excitement as in audible 
Bobs. groans, cries, screams, &c. ? 

" VIII. Did any of the parties throw themselves into unusual postures? 

" IX. Were there any who fainted, fell into convulsions, or were ill in other re- 
spects ? 

" X. How late have you ever known Revival meetings last ? 

" XI. Do you approve or disapprove of these meetings upon the whole ? In either 
case, have the goodness to state why. 

"XII. Was any death occisioned, or said to be occasioned, by over excitement in 
any such case ? If so, state the circumstances, in so far as you know them. 

"XIII. St.ate any other circumstances connected with Revivals in your parish or 
district, which, though not involved in the foregoing queries, may tend to throw 
light upon the subject." 


" XIV. special circumstances in the preaching or ministrations of the in- 
struments appear to have produced the results in each particular case which may 
have come under your notice ? 

"XV. Did the person or persons whom you described as the instruments in pro- 
ducing the effects above adverted to address children? At what hour? In what 
special terms ? And what might be the age of the youngest of them ? 

MR. M'cHEYNF.'s answers. 

Answer to Query I.— It is my decided and solemn conviction, 
in the sight of God, that a very remarkable and glorious work of 


God, in the conversion of sinners and edifying of saints, has taken 
place in this parish and neighborhood. This work I have observed 
going on from the very beginning of my ministry in this place in 
November, 1836, and it has continued to the present time ; but it 
Vi^as much more remarkable in the autumn of 1839, when I was 
abroad on a mission of inquiry to the Jews, and when my place 
was occupied by the Rev. W. C. Burns. Previous to my going 
abroad, and for several months afterwards, the means used were 
of the ordinary kind. In addition to the services of the Sabbath, 
in the summer of 1837, a meeting was opened in the church on 
Thursday evenings for prayer, exposition of Scripture, reading 
accounts of Missions, Revivals of Religion, &c., Sabbath schools 
were formed, private prayer meetings were encouraged, and two 
weekly classes for young men and young women were instituted 
with a very large attendance. These means were accompanied 
with an evident blessing from on high in many instances. But 
there was no visible or general movement among the people until 
August, 1839, when immediately after the beginning of the Lord's 
work at Kilsyth, the Word of God came with such power to the 
hearts and consciences of the people here, and their thirst for 
hearing it became so intense, that evening classes in the school- 
room were changed into densely crowded congregations in the 
church, and for nearly four months it was found desirable to have 
public worship almost every night. At this time, also, many 
prayer-meetings were formed, some of which were strictly pri- 
vate or fellowship meetings, and others, conducted by persons of 
some Christian experience, were open to persons under concern 
about their souls. At the time of my return from the Mission to 
the Jews, I found thirty-nine such meetings held weekly in con- 
nection with the congregation, and five of these were conducted 
and attended entirely by little children. At present, although 
many changes have taken place, I believe the number of the'se 
meetings is not much diminished. Now, however, they are 
nearly all of the more private kind — the deep and general anxiety, 
which led to many of them being open, having in a great degree 
subsided. Among the many ministers who have assisted here 
from time to time, and especially in the autumn of 1839, I may 
mention Mr. Macdonald of Urquhart, Mr. Gumming of Dumbar- 
ney, Mr.' Bonar of Larbert, Mr. Bonar of Kelso, and Mr. Somer- 
ville of Anderston. Some of these were present here for a con- 
siderable time, and I have good reason for believing that they 
were eminently countenanced by God in their labors' 

As to the extent of this work of God, I believe it is impossible 
to speak decidedly. The parish is situated in the suburb of a city 
'containing 60,000 inhabitants. The work extended to individuals 
residmg in all quarters of the town, and belonging to all ranks 
and denominations of the people. Many hundreds, under deep 
concern for their souls, have come, from first to last, to converse 


with the ministers ; so that I am deeply persuaded the number of 
those who have received saving benefit is greater than any one 
will know till the Judgment-day. 

II., III. The previous character of those who seem to have 
been converted was very various. I could name not a few in the 
higher ranks of life that seem evidently to have become new crea- 
tures, who previously lived a worldly life, though unmarked by 
open wickedness. Many, again, who were before nominal Chris- 
tians, are now living ones. I could name, however, far more, 
who have been turned from the paths of open sin and profligacy, 
and have found pardon and purity in the blood of the Lamb, and 
by the spirit of our God ; so that we can say to them, as Paul 
said to the Coiinthians, " Such were some of you, but ye are 
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified," &c. I often 
think when conversing with some of these, that the change they 
have undergone might be enough to convince an Atheist that 
there is a God, or an Infidel that there is a Saviour. 

IV. It is not easy for a minister, in a field like this, to keep an 
exact account of all the cases of awakening and conversion that 
occur ; and there are many of which he may never hear. I have 
always tried to mark down the circumstances of each awakened 
soul that applied to me, and the number of these, from first to last, 
has been very great. During the autumn of 1839, not fewer than 
from GOO to 700 came to converse with the ministers about their 
souls : and there were many more, equally concerned, who never 
came forward in this way. I know many who appear to have 
been converted, and yet have never come to me in private ; and 
I am, every now and then, meeting with cases of which I never 
before heard. Indeed, eternity alone can reveal the true number 
of the Lord's hidden ones among us. 

V. With regard to the consistency of those who are believed to 
have been converted, I may first of all remark, that it must be 
acknowledged, and should be clearly understood, that many who 
came under concern about their souls, and seemed, for a time, to 
be deeply convinced of sin, have gone back again to the world. 
I believe that, at that remarkable season in J 839, there were very 
few persons who attended the meetings without being more or 
less affected. It pleased God, at that time, to bring an awfully 
solemn sense of divine things over the minds of men. It was, in- 
deed, the day of our mercii'ul visitation. But many allowed it to 
slip past thein without being saved ; and these have sunk back, 
as was to be'expected, into their former deadness and impenitence. 
Alas ! there are some among us, whose very looks remind you of 
that awful warning, " Quench not the spirit." 

Confining our view, however, to those who, as far as ministers 
could judge by the rules of God's Word, seemed to be savingly 
converted, I may with saft4y say, that I do not know of more 
than two who have openly given the lie to their profession. 


Other cases of this kind may have occurred, but they are unknown 
to me. More, 1 have Uttle doubt, will eventually occur ; for the 
voice of God teaches us to expect such things. Some of those 
converted have now walked consistently for four years ; the 
greater part from one to two years. Some have had their falls 
into sin, and have thus opened the mouths of their adversaries 
but the very noise that this has made shows that such instances 
are very rare. Some have fallen into spu'itual darkness ; many, 
I fear, have left their first love ; but yet I see nothing in all this 
but what is incident in the case of every Christian Church. 
Many there are among us, who are filled with light and peace, 
and are examples to the believers in all things. We had an ad- 
ditional communion season at my return from the continent, which 
was the happiest and holiest that I was ever present at. The 
Monday was entirely devoted to thanksgiving, and a thank-ofier- 
ing was made among us to God for his signal mercies. The 
times were hard, and my people are far from wealthy, yet the 
sum contributed was £71. This was devoted to Missionary pur- 
poses. It is true that those whom I esteem as Christians do often 
grieve me by their inconsistencies ; but still I cannot help thinking 
that, if the world were full of such, the time would be come when 
" they shall neither hurt nor destroy in all God's holy mountain." 

VI. During the progress of this work of God, not only have 
many individuals been savingly converted, but important effects 
have also been produced upon the people generally. It is indeed 
amazing, and truly affecting to see, that thousands living in the 
immediate vicinity of the spot, where God has been dealing so 
graciously, still continue sunk in deep apathy in regard to spiritual 
things, or are running on greedily in open sin. While many from 
a distance have become heirs of glory, multitudes, I fear, of those 
who live within the sound of the Sabbath bell, continue to live on 
in sin and misery. Still, however, the effects that have been pro- 
duced upon the community are very marked. It seems now to 
be allowed, even by the most ungodly, that there is such a thing 
as conversion. Men cannot any longer deny it. The Sabbath 
is now observed with greater reverence than it used to be ; and 
there seems to be far more of a solemn awe upon the minds of 
men than formerly. I feel that I can now stop sinners in the 
midst o-f their open sin and wickedness, and command their rev- 
erent attention, in a way that I could not have done before. The 
private meetings for prayer have spread a sweet influence over 
the place. There is far more solemnity in the house of God ; and 
it is a different thing to preach to the people now from what it 
once was. Any minister of spiritual feeling can discern that there 
are many praying people in the congregation. When I came 
first here, I found it impossible to establish Sabbath-schools on the 
local system ; while, very lately, there were instituted with ease, 
nineteen such schools, that are well taught and well attended. 


A''II., VIII., IX. As I have already stated, by far tlie most re- 
markable season of" the working of the Spirit ot'God in this place 
was in 1839, when I was abroad. Al that time, there were many 
seasons of remarkable solemnity, when the house of God literally 
became "a Bochim, a place of weepers." Those who were priv- 
ileged to be present at these times will, I believe, never forget 
ihem. Even since my return, however, I have myself freqjently 
seen the preaching of the Word attended, with so much power 
and eternal things brought so near, that the feelings of the people 
could not be restrained. I have observed at such times an uwful 
and breathless stillness pervading the assembly; each hearer bent 
forward in the posture of wrapt attention ; serious men covered 
their faces to pray that the arrows of the King of Zion might be 
sent home with power to the hearts of sinners. Again, at such a 
time, I have heard a half-suppressed sigh rising from many a 
heart, and have seen many bathed in tears. At other times I 
have heard loud sobbing in many parts of the church, while a 
deep solemnity pervaded the whole audience. I have also, in 
some instances, heard individuals cry aloud, as if they had been 
pierced through with a dart. These solemn scenes were wit- 
nessed under the preaching of different ministers, and sometimes 
occurred under the most tender Gospel invitations. On one oc- 
casion, for instance, when the minister was speaking tenderly on 
the words, '* He is altogether lovely," almost every sentence was 
responded to by cries of the bitterest agony. At such times I 
have seen persons so overcome, that they could not walk or stand 
alone. I have known cases in which believers have been similarly 
affected through the fulness of their joy. I have often known 
such awakenings to issue in what I believe to be real conversion. 
I could name many of the humblest, meekest believers, who at 
one time cried out in the church under deep agony. I have also 
met with cases where the sight of souls thus pierced has been 
blessed by God to awaken careless sinners who had come to mock. 

I am far from believing that these signs of deep alarm always 
issue in conversion, or that the Spirit of God does not otten work 
in a more quiet manner. Sometimes, I believe, he comes like the 
pouring rain ; sometimes like the gentle dew. Still I would hum- 
bly state my conviction, that it is the duty of all who seek the 
salvation of souls, and especially the duty of ministers, to long 
and pray for such solemn times, when the arrows shall be sharp 
in the heart of the king's enemies, and our slumbering congrega- 
tions shall be made to cry out, " Men and brethren, what shall 
we do ?" 

X., XI. None of the ministers who have been engaged in the 
work of God here have ever used the name " Revival meeting ;" 
nor do they approve of its use. We are told in the Acts that the 
Apostles preached and taught the Gospel daily ; yet their meet- 
ings are never called Revival meetings. No other meetings have 


taken place here, but such as were held for the preaching and 
teachmg of the Gospel, and for prayer. It will not be maintained 
by any one, that the meetings in the sanctuary every Lord's Day 
are intended for any other purpose than the revival of genuine 
godliness, through the conversion of sinners, and the edification 
of saints. All the meetings in this place were held, I believe, 
with a single eye to the same object. There seems, therefore, to 
be no propriety in applying the name peculiarly to any meetings 
that have been held in this place. It is true, indeed, that on week 
evenings there is not generally the same formality as on Sabbaths 
— the congregation are commonly dressed in their working clothes, 
and the minister speaks with less regular preparation. 

During the autumn of 1839, the meetings were in general dis- 
missed at ten o'clock ; although, in several instances, the state of 
the congregation seemed to be such as to demand that the minis- 
ters should remain still longer with them, that they might counsel 
and pray with the awakened. I have myself, once or twice, seen 
the service in the house of God continue till about midnight. On 
these occasions, the emotion during the preaching of the word 
was so great, that after the blessing had been pronounced at the 
usual hour, the greater part of the people remained in their seats, 
or occupied the passages, so that it was impossible to leave them. 
In consequence of this, a few words more were spoken suited to 
the state of awakened souls ; singing and prayer filled up the rest 
of the time. In this way the meeting was prolonged by the very 
necessity of the case. On such occasions, I have often longed 
that all the ministers in Scotland were present, that they might 
learn more deeply what the true end of our ministry is. 1 
have never seen or heard of anything indecorous at such meet- 
ings ; and, on all such occasions, the feelings that filled my soul 
were those of the most solemn awe, the deepest compassion for 
afflicted souls, and an unutterable sense of the hardness of my 
own heart. I do entirely and solemnly approve of such meetings, 
because I believe them to be in accordance with the Word of 
God, to be pervaded by the Spirit of Christ, and to be ofttimes 
the birth-places of precious never-dying souls. It is my earnest 
prayer that we may yet see greater things than these in all parts 
of Scotland. 

Xir. There was one death that took place in very solemn cir- 
cumstances at the time of the work of God in this place, and 
this was ascribed by many of the enemies to religious excite- 
ment. The facts of the case, however, which were published at 
the time, clearly show that this was a groundless calumny. 

XIII. I have been led to examine, with particular care, the ac- 
counts that have been left us of the Lord's marvellous works in 
the days that are past, both in our own land and in other parts of 
the world, in order that I might compare these with what has 
lately taken place at Dundee, and in other parts of Scotland. In 


doing this, I have been fully convinced that the outpouring of the 
Holv Spirit at the Kirk of Shotts, and again, a century after, at 
Cambusiang. &c. in Scotland, and under the ministry of President 
Edwards in America, was attended by the very same appear- 
ances as the work in our own day. Indeed, so completely do they 
seem to agree, both in their nature and in the circumstances that 
attended them, that I have not heard a single objection brought 
against the work of God now, which was not urged against it in 
former times, and that has not been most scripturally and trium- 
phantly removed by Mr. Robe in his Narrative, and by President 
Edwards in his invaluable TiK»ughts on the Revival of Religion in 
New England: — "And certainly we must throw by all talk of 
conversion and Christian experience; and not only so, but we 
must throw by our Bibles, and give up revealed religion, if this be 
not in general the work of God." 

XIV. I do not know of anything in the ministrations of those 
■who have occupied my pulpit, that may with propriety be called 
peculiar, or that is dilierenl from what I conceive ought to char- 
acterize the services of all true ministers of Christ. They have 
preached, so far as I can judge, nothing but the pure gospel of the 
grace of God. They have done this fully, clearly, solemnly ; with 
discrimination, urgency, and affection. None of them read their 
sermons. They all, I think, seek the im?nediate conversion of the 
people, and they believe that, under a living gospel ministry, suc- 
cess is more or less the rule, and want of success the exception. 
They are, I believe, in general, peculiarly given to secret prayer; 
and they have also been accustomed to have much united prayer 
when together, and especially before and after engaging in public 
w^orship. Some of them have been peculiarly aided in declaring 
the tern^s of the Lord, and others in setting forth the fulness and 
freeness of Christ as the Saviour of sinners ; and the same persons 
have been, at different times, remarkably assisted in both these 
ways. So far as I am aware, no unscriptural doctrines have been 
taught, nor has there been a keeping back of any part of " the 
whole counsel of God." 

XV. The ministers engaged in the work of God in this place, 
believing that children are lost, and may through grace be saved, 
have, therefore, spoken to children as freely as to grown persons ; 
and God has so greatly honored their labors, that many children, 
from ten years old and upwards, have given full evidence of their 
being born again. I am not aware of any meetings that have 
been held peculiarly tor children, with the exception of the Sab- 
bath-schools, the children's prayer-meetings, and a sermon to 
children on the Monday evening after the Communion. It was 
commonly at the public meetings, in the house of God, that chil- 
dren were impressed ; often also in their own little meetings, wiien 
no minister was present. 

26th March, 1841. 




" My beloved is gone down into his garden to gather lilies."— Song vi. 2. 

God loves his mighty works to be remembered. We easily for- 
get the most amazing displays of his love and power, and therefore 
it is right often to set up a stone of remembrance. When Israel 
passed over Jordan on dry land, God commanded Joshua to take 
tvi^elve stones out of the dry bed of the river, and to set them up 
at Gilgal for a memorial, " That all the people of the earth might 
know the hand of the Lord that it is mighty ;" Joshua iv. 24. 
Whenever the children of Israel looked upon these massy stones, 
they would remember how God brought their fathers through the 
swellings of Jordan. 

God has done great things for us in this corner of his vineyard, 
whereof we are glad. The word has often grown mightily and 
prevailed. Many old sinners and many young ones have given 
clear evidence of a saving change. And" though we cannot say 
that " the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be 
saved," yet we can say that from the first day until now he has 
never left himself without a witness. 

We have done little in the way of making known the doings 
of the Lord. The record of many a saved soul is on high, and 
many in their heavenly walk amid a polluted world are° livino- 
monuments of what a God of grace can do. In this little narra"^ 
tive we would raise up an hum'ble stone to the memory of a dear 
boy who now sleeps in Jesus, and to the praise of that God and 
Saviour who planted, watered, and gathered his own lily. 

James Laing was born on the 28th July, 1828, and lost his 
mother before he was eight years old. Of the living members 
of the family I do not mean to speak ; they have not yet finished 
their course, but are still in the valley of tears, and trials, and 
temptations. This only must be noticed, that not long after God 
took away the mother, he dealt so graciouslv with the elder sister 
that she was henceforth fitted to watch over the other children 
with a mother's tenderness. 

James was seized with the same fever as that of which his 
mother died, and he never enjoyed good health afterwards. He 
was naturally a very quiet and reserved boy, not so rough in his 
language as many of the boys around. One day when he was 
lying on his dying bed, I was asking his sister what kind of boy 
he had been. She said that he was as wicked as other boys, only 
he did not swear. After I was gone, he told his sister that she was 

* Published by James Gall and Son, Edinburgh, of whom it may be had in a 
separate form, "^ 


wrong. ITe never used to swear at home, because he was afraid 
he would ho punished i'ov it : but when among his companions he 
often used to swear. ''Ah !" added he, "it is a wonder God did 
not send me to hell when I was a swearer." Another day, hear- 
ing some boys swearing near his window, he said, " It is a won- 
der God did not leave me to swear among these boys yet." 
Such was the early life of this boy. He did not know the God 
who guided him, and in whose hand his breath was ; and such 
is the life of most of our children — they "cast off fear, and re- 
strain prayer l)ef(n'e God." 

The Ili)ly Spirit strives even with cliildren. And when they 
grieve iiim, and resist his awakening hand, he suffers long with 
them. The first time that James showed any concern for his 
soul was in the autumn of 1839. It was a solemn time in this 
place ; St. Peter's was like Bethel. The divine ladder was set 
down in the midst of the people, and its top reached up to heaven, 
and even strangers were forced to say, " Surely God is in this 
place." O that these sweet days would come back again ! His 
elder brother, Alexander, a sailor boy, was at that time awakened, 
and the same glorious Spirit seemed to visit James for a time. 
One evening their sister Margaret, returning home from a meet- 
ing, found her two brothers on their knees earnestly crying for 
mercy. She did not interrupt them, but Alexander afterwards 
said to her, " Jamie feels that he needs Christ too. We will easily 
know if he be in earnest, for then he will not need to be bidden to 
pray," The test was a trying one ; James soon gave up secret 
prayer, and proved that his goodness was like a morning cloud 
and the early dew which goeth away. This is the mark of the 
hypocrite laid down by Job, "Will he always call upon God,?" 
Job xxvii. 10. 

Another night Margaret observed James coming from the 
prayer-meeting in the school in great distress. He kept close by 
the wall of the church that he might escape observation. He was 
much concerned that night, and, after retiring to rest, said to his 
sister, in his own Scottish dialect, " There's me come awa' icithout 
Christ to-night again," 

One Thursday evening he attended the weekly meeting held in 
the Church. The passage explained was Romans iv, 4-G, and 
sinners were urged to receive the " righteousness without works." 
Many were deeply affected, and would not go away even after 
the i)lessing. James was one of those who remained, and when 
I came to him he was weeping bitterly. I asked him if he cared 
for his soul : he said, " Whiles." I asked if he prayed ; he said, 
' Yes." He was much concerned on his return home that night 
both for others and for his own soul. But these dew-drops were 
soon dried up again. 

He attended the Sabbath-school in the lane where their cottage 
stands. Often when the teacher was reading the Bible, or some 


awakening anecdote, the tears flowed down his cheeks ; but he 
tried to conceal his emotion from the other boys lest they should 
laugh at him. He afterwards said in his last illness, " O that I had 
just another night of the Sabbath-school ! I would not care 
though they should laugh at me now." Sometimes during the 
reading and prayer in the family, the word of God was like a fire 
to him, so that he could not bear it, and after it was over he 
would run to his wild companions in order to drown the cries of 
his awakened conscience. 

In July, 1841, he went up to Glammiss for his health. I was 
preaching in the neighborhood, and he wished much to go and 
hear, but was not able to walk the distance. One night he heard 
Mr. Cormick of Kirriemuir preach in a cottage on John vii. 37. 
He felt it deeply, and wept bitterly, but he remarked that none 
of the people wept. He knew well when people showed any 
concern for their soul ; and he often remarked that to be anxious 
is not to be i7i Christ. When he came home he spoke much of 
the carelessness of the people where he had been. "Ah ! Mar- 
garet, there was no Bible read yonder. The people a' went to 
their bed just as if there had not been a God." What a faithful 
picture is this of the state of many of our country parishes ! 

One night after his return a neighbor was sitting by the fire 
reading the work of an old divine. It stated that even carnal 
men sometimes receive a conviction they never can forget. She 
turned to James and asked him if he had never received a convic- 
tion that he could not forget. '• Yes," he said, " I can never 
forget it ; but we cannot seek Christ twice." Thus did the long- 
suffering of God wait upon this little boy ; the good Spirit strove 
with him, and Jesus stood at the door and knocked ; but he would 
not hear. 

The day of Immanuel's power, and the time of love, was how- 
ever near at hand. As the cold winds of October set in, his 
sickly frame was much affected ; he became weak and breathless. 
One Tuesday, in the end of October, he turned decidedly worse, 
and became intensely anxious about the salvation of his soul. His 
lamentable cry was, " Oh, Jesus, save me — save me !" Margaret 
asked if his concern was real, for he had often deceived her hopes 
before. He wept, and said " Yes." His body was greatly pained, 
but he forgot all in the intense anxiety for his precious never- 
dying soul. On the Saturday I paid a visit to their humble 
cottage, and found the little sufferer sitting by the fire. He began 
to weep bitterly while I spoke to him of Jesus having come into 
the world to save sinners. I was enabled in a simple manner to 
answer the objections that sinners make to an immediate closing 
with Christ. Margaret wondered; for the minister could not 
have spoken more to the case of her brother if he had known it ; 
and she inwardly thanked God, for she saw that he was directing 
it. James spent the rest of the day on his knees in evident dis- 

VOL. I. 19 


tress of soul. O how little the most of those called Christians 
know wliat it is to pass through such deep waters ! Margaret 
asked him if he was seeking Jesus: he said, "Yes." She asked, 
" If he would like anything — a bit of bread ?" he said, '* No : but 
I would take a bit of the bread of life if you would give it nie." 
She replied, "I cannot give you that; but if you seek it you will 
get it." He remained alone till evening, and was never off his 
knees. Towards night he came to the other end of the cottage, 
and put this question — " Have 1 only to believe that Jesus died 
for sinners ? Is that all '?" He was told, " Yes." " Well. I be- 
lieve that Jesus died for me, for I am a poor hell-deserving sinner. 
I have been praying all this afternoon, that when Jesus shed his 
blood for sinners, he would sprinkle some of it upon me. and he 
did it." He then turned up Rom. v. 8, and read these words, 
" While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." His sister wept 
fcr joy, and James added, '• I am not afraid to die now, for Jesus 
has died for me." Often after this he bade his sister read to him 
Rom. v.. Psalm ciii., and Psalm cxvi. These were favorite por- 
tions with him. 

From that day it was a j)leasant duty indeed to visit the cot- 
tage of this youthful inquirer. Many a happy hour have I spent 
beneath that humble roof. Instead of dropping passing remarks, 
I used generally to open up a passage of the word, that he might 
grow in knowledge. I fear that, in general, we are not suifi- 
ciently careful in regulai-hj instructing the sick and dying. A 
pious expression and a fervent prayer are not enough to I'eed the 
soul that is passing through the dark valley. Surely if sound 
and spiritual nourishment is needed by the soul at any time, it is 
in such an hour when Satan uses all his arts to disturb and 

One Thursday afternoon I spoke to him on Matt, xxiii. 37, 
"How often would I have gathered your children." He was in 
great darkness that day, and, weeping bitterly, said, •' I fear I 
have never been gathered to Christ ; but if I have never been 
gathered, O that I were gathered to Christ now /" After I was 
gone he said, *' It would give me no peace though the minister and 
every body said I was a Christian, if I had not the sense of it be- 
tween God and my sell." 

He was very i'ond of the Song of Solomon, and many parts of 
it were opened up to him. One day I spoke on Song v. 13, " His 
lips are like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh." I told him 
that these were some of the drops that fell from the lips of Jesus 
— "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." "I came 
to seek and to save that which was lost." " Wilt thou be made 
whole?" "I give unto them eternal life." He said soleiiuilv, 
" That's fine." 

Another day. Song i. 5, " I am black, but comely," was ex- 
plained. He said, "I am black as hell in myself, but I'm all lair 


m Jesus." This was ever after a common expression of his. 
Another day I spoke on Song v. 15. "His legs are like pillars 
of marble set upon sockets of fine gold ;" and showed the almigh- 
ty strength of the Lord Jesus. The next day when I came in, I 
asked him how he was ; but, without answering my question, he 
said, "I am glad you told me that, about Jesus' legs being like 
pillars of marble, lor now I see that he is able to carry me and all 
my sins." 

On one occasion, he said, "I am glad this psalm is in the Bible." 
"What psalm?" He answered, " Yea, though I walk in death's 
dark vale." " He has promised to be with me, and God is as good 
as his word." 

At another time I read to him Isaiah xliii. 2. " When thou 
passest through the waters, I will be with thee ;" and explained 
that when he came to the deep, deep waters, the Lord Jesus 
would put his foot down beside his, and wade with him. This 
often comforted him, for he believed it as firmly as if he had 
seen the pierced foot of Jesus placed beside his own ; and he 
said to Margaret, " If Christ put down his foot beside mine, then 
I have nothing to fear." 

One Sabbath I had been preaching on Caleb followint^ the 
Lord fully (Numbers xiv. 24,) and had stated that every sm'com- 
mitted after conversion would take away something from the be- 
liever's weight of eternal glory. Alexander, his brother, was 
present, it being his only Sabbath on shore. He was much 
troubled, and said, " Ah, I fear mine will be all lost." He told 
the statement to James, who was also troubled. Alexander 
said, " You don't need to be troubled, Jamie ; you are holy." 
James wept and said, "I wonder to hear you speak." Alexander 
said, " Ah, but you are holier than me." 

In the same sermon I had said, that if believers did nothing for 
Christ, they would get in at the door of heaven, but nothing more. 
The sailor-boy told this to his brother, who wept again, "saying, 
" I have done nothing for Christ." Alexander said he had done 
less. James added, " I would like to be near Jesus. I could not 
be happy unless I was near him." Speaking of those who had 
gone to glory long ago, James said, that " those who died in 
Christ now, and did most for him, Jesus would take them in htj 
(that IS .near to himself,) though they were late of coming." 

How lovely this simple domestic scene ! Happy familTes ; but. 
ah ! how few where the children fear the Lord, and speak often 
one to another. Surely the Lord stands behind the wall hearken- 
ing, and he will write their words in his book of remembrance. 
" And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day 
when I make up my jewels." 

Some of my dear brethren in the ministry visited this little boy, 
to see God's wonderful works in him, and to be helpers of his joy. 
It IS often of great imp^ortance in visiting the dying, to call in the 


aid of a fellow-laborer. Different lines of testimony to the same 
Saviour are thus brought to meet in the chamber of sorrow. In 
the mouth of two or tliree witnesses shall every word be estab- 
lished. Mr. Cumming of Dumbarney, visiting him one day, 
asked him if he suffered much pain. James, Sometimes." Mr. 
C, '• When you are in much pain, can you think on the sufferings 
of the Lord Jesus ?" James, " When I see what Jesus suffered 
for me it takes atvay my pain. Mine is nothing to what he suf- 
fered." He often repeated these words, " My light affliction, 
which is but for a moment." 

At another time Mr. Miller of Wallacetown called with me, 
and our little sufferer spoke very sweetly on eternal things. Mr. 
M., " Would you like to get better ?" James, " I would like the 
will of God." Mr. 717., " But if you were getting better, would 
you just live as you did before ?" James, " If God did not give 
me grace I would." During the same visit I was asking Marga- 
ret when he was first awakened. She told me of his first con- 
cern, and then of the first day I had called. James broke in and 
said, " Ah, but we must not lean upon that." His meaning was, 
that past experien.':es are not the foundation of a sinner's peace. I 
never met with any boy who had so clear a discovery of the way 
of pardon and acceptance through the doing and dying of the 
Lord Jesus laid to our account. One time I visited him, I said, 
" I have been thinking of this verse to-day, ' The Lord is well 
pleased for his righteousness' sake.'" Isaiah xlii. 2L He said, 
" Explain that to me, for I don't understand it." I opened it up 
to him, but I feared he did not take up the meaning. Some days 
after he said to his sister, "Margaret, I have been thinking of a 
sweet verse to-day." She asked what it was ; but it had slipped 
from his memory. M., "Was it about Christ ?" James, " Aye." 
She quoted one. James, " No that's not it." At length she quo- 
ted, " The Lord is well pleased," &;c. "Ah, that's it (he said), I 
was thinking, it's no for my righteousness' sake, but for his 
righteousness' sake." This shewed how fully he embraced what 
so few comprehend, the way of salvation by " the obedience of 
one" for many. Surely God was his teacher, for God alone can 
reveal the sweetness and glory of this truth to the soul of man. 

Mr. Bonar of Collace often visited him, and these were sweet 
visits to little James. One day when Mr. Bonar had been open- 
ing up some Scripture to him, he said, " Do you know what I am 
saying, Jamie ?" James, " Yes, but I canna get at it (I cannot 
feel its power) ; I see it all." Mr. B., " I think there would be a 
pleasure in seeing the people drink when Moses struck the rock, 
even though one did not get a drink themselves." Ja?nes, "Ah, 
but I would like a drink." 

One of the loveliest features in the character of this little boy 
*vas his intense love to the souls of men. He often spoke with me 
on the folly of men living without Christ in the world. I shali 


never forget the compassionate glance of his clear blue eye, as he 
said, " What a pity it is that they do not a' come to Christ — they 
would be sic happy." He often reminded me of the verse, " Love 
is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God." 1 John iv. 7. 
One Sabbath evening I spoke to the scliolars in the Sabbath- 
school about him. When the scliool was over they all came in to 
his cottage to see him. The little throng stood silent round his 
bed, while he spoke to them with great solemnity. " You all 
know what I was. I was no better than you ; but the Holy 
Spirit opened my eyes, and I saw that I was on the very brink of 
hell. Then I cried to Jesus to save me, and give me a new 
heart ; I put my finger on the promise, and would not come away 
without it ; and he gave me a new heart ; and he is as willing to 
give you all a new heart. I have sinned with you, now I would 
like you to come to Christ with me. You would be far happier 
in Christ than at your play. There are sweeter pleasures in 
Christ. Here are two awful verses to me : — ■ 

" There is a dreadful hell, 
And everlasting pains ; 
There sinners must with devils dwell 
In darkness, lire, and chains. 

Can such a wretch as I 

Escape this cursed end ? 
And may I hope, whene'er I die, 

I shall to heaven ascend ?" 

Then, pointing to the fire, he said, " You could not keep your 
finger long there, but remember hell is a lake of fire. I would 
give you all a prayer to pray to-night. Go and tell Jesus that 
you are poor, lost, hell-deserving sinners, and tell him to give you 
a new heart. Mind he's willing, and oh, be earnest — ye'U no get 
it unless ye be earnest." 

These were nearly his very words. Strange scene ! a dying 
boy speaking to his fellows. They were impressed for a time, 
but it soon wore away. Several Sabbath evenings the same 
scene was renewed. The substance of all his warnings was, 
"Come to Christ and get a new heart." He often told me after- 
wards that he had been inviting them to Christ, " but (he added) 
they'll no comer 

One evening during the week, a number of the childi'en came 
in. After speaking to them in a very solemn manner, he took 
irom under his pillow a little book, called " A letter about Jesus 
Christ." He turned up the part where it tells of six boys laying 
their finger on the promise, Ezek. xxxvi. 26, and pleading for its 
fulfilment. He was not able to read it to them, but he said he 
would give it to them ; aad each boy should keep it two days, 
and read it, and do the same. The boys were much impressed, 
and agreed to the proposal. 

One day during his illness his sister found him crying very bit- 


terly. She asked him what ailed him. He said, " Do you re- 
member when I was at the day-school at the time of the Revival ? 
One day when we were writing our copies, one of the boys had 
been some anxious about his soul ; he wrote a line to me on a slip 
of paper, ' Ezek. xxxvi. 26. To James Laing. Pray over it' 
I took the paper, read it and tore it, and threw it on the floor, and 
laughed at the boy. O Margaret, if I hadna laughed at him, may- 
be he would have sought Christ until he h^A found him. Maybe 
I have been the means of ruining his soul to all eternity," In how 
touching a manner this shows the tenderness of his care for the 
souls of others ; and also how a rash word or deed, little thought 
of at the time, may plant a sting in the dying pillow. 

One night I went with my little cousin to see James. I said, 
" I have brought my Jamie to see you." He took him kindly by 
the hand, and said, " We're twa Jamies thegither. May we both 
meet in heaven. Be earnest to get Christ. You'll no get Christ 
unless you are earnest." When we were gone, he said to his sis- 
ter, " Although Jamie bides with the minister, unless the Spirit 
open his eyes, he canna get Christ." 

His knowledge of the peculiar doctrines of the gospel was very 
wonderful. It was not mere head knowledge — it came fresh and 
clear from the heart, like spring water welling up from a great 
depth. He felt the sovereignly of God very deeply. Ouce I 
quoted to him the hymn, 

" Chosen not for good in me." 

He said, " I am sure it was for naething in me. I am a hell-de- 
serving sinner." Often, when speaking of the great things God 
had done for their family, he would say, " Ah, Margaret, I won- 
der that Christ would look in here and take us." Once he said, 
" I wonder how Jesus died for such a sinner as me. Why me, 
Lord, why me ?" 

The greatest want in the religion of children is generally sense 
of sin. Artless simplicity and confidence in what is told, are in 
some respects natural to children ; and this is the reason why we 
are so often deceived by promising appearances in childhood. 
The reality of grace in a child is best known by his sense of sin. 
Little James often wondered " how God sent his servant sic often 
to him, such a hell-deserving sinner." This was a common ex- 
pression of his. On one occasion, he said, "I have a wicked, 
wicked heart, and a tempting devil. He'll not let me alone, but 
this is all the hell that I'll get. Jesus bore my hell already. O 
Margaret, this wicked heart of mine would be hell enough for 
me though there was no other. But there are no wicked hearts 
in heaven." Often he prayed. "Come, Holy Spirit, and make 
me holy — make me like Jesus." 

The way of salvation through the righteousness of Christ was 
always sweet to him. He had an uncommon grasp of it; Christ 


crucified was all his salvation and all his desire. One day his sis- 
ter said to him, " You must meet death in Jesus, and ^o to the 
judgment-seat in Jesus, and spend eternity in Jesus. You will 
be as hell-deserving in yourself when you stand before the throne 
as now." He smiled sweetly, and said, " O Margaret, I see it 
must be all Jesus from beginning to end." 

Another time a little boy v/ho was in concern for his soul came 
to see James, and told him how many chapters he had read, and 
how often he had prayed. James did not answer at the time, but 
a little after he said to his sister, " David was here, and told me 
how many chapters he had read, &c. I see he's upon the work- 
ing plan ; but I must tell him that it's no his reading, nor yet his 
praying, but Jesus alone that must save him." 

Another day he said, "The devil is letting me see that this 
word and another word in my prayer is sin, but I just tell him it 
is all sin. 1 bid him go to Jesus, there is no sin in him ; and 
I have taken him to be my Saviour." 

He had a very clear discovery of the dead and helpless con- 
dition of the carnal mind, and of the need of the Holy Spirit to 
convert the soul. Telling me once of the boy under concern, 
and of what he had been saying to him, he added, "But it is 
nonsense to speak of these things without the Holy Spirit." At 
another time I was speaking on John xiv. 1. He seemed to be 
thinking about something else, and suddenly said, " When we lose 
our first love, it's no easy getting our second love ; only the Spirit 
of God can give it." 

Often when he saw the family preparing to go to church, he 
would pray that I might be filled with the Holy Spirit in speak- 
ing, so that some sinners might be caught. '* I mind often sitting 
on the pulpit stairs careless ; I would like if I had that place again. 
If I had but one sermon I would not be so careless now." He 
often wished to be carried to the church, but was never able to 
bear the exertion. 

He was no stranger to temptations from the wicked one. I 
scarcely ever visited him but he spoke to me of these. Once he 
said, " The devil often tempts me to think upon good people, but 
I tell him it is Christ I want." Another time, " What do you 
think? The devil now tempts me to believe that I'll never be 
saved, because I have repented on my death-bed." Often when 
tempted he would cry, " If I perish, I'll perish at Christ's feet." A 
few days before he died, he said, " I am afraid I will not be saved 
yet, for the devil will catch my soul as it leaves my body. But 
Jesus says, ' Ye shall never perish.' If I am in the hand of Jesus, 
the devil cannot pluck me out there." 

Once I found him kneeling on a pillow by the fire ; he com- 
plained of great darkness, and doubted his interest in I^.iiisL. I 
told him that we must not close with Christ because we feel him 
but because God has said it, and that we must take God's word 


even in the dark. After that he always seemed to trust God in 
the dark, even at times when he had no inward evidence of 
bein;:,' Christ's. At one of these times, a behever, who is olten in 
great darkness, came in, and asked him, " When you are in dark- 
ness, Jamie, how do you do ? Can you go to Jesus ?" He an- 
swered in his own pointed manner, '• Annie, woman, / have no 
ither gel to gang." 

The last text I explained to him, was 2 Tim. iv. 7," I have fought 
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." I 
was wonderfully helped in showing him that, from conversion to 
coronation, the life of a believer was one continued fight. He 
said, " Would you not think that the devil would let a poor young 
creature like me alone ? but he's an awful tempter." 

He had a mind that loved to think on the deep things of God- 
One day a believer called and prayed beside his bed, asking for 
him that he might be " filled with all the fulness of God." The 
same person came another day, and before praying inquired, 
" What shall I ask for you ?" He said, " You mind what you 
sought for me the last time. You prayed that I might be filled 
with all the fulness of God ; I canna get any more than that, but 
dinna seek any less to-day." 

A dear Christian lady used to bring him flowers. She spoke 
to him of Christ being " the lily of the valley," and on one occa- 
sion brought him one. He asked her to pick it out from the rest, 
and give it into his hand. Holding the gentle flower in his pale 
wasted fingers, he looked at it, and said, *' This might convince 
the. world that there is a God, though there were nothing else. 
Aye, there is a God — there is a heaven — there is a hell — and there 
is a judgment-seat — whether they will believe it or no " He said 
this in a very solemn way, pausing between every member of 
the sentence. 

He loved singing praise to God, though not able to join in it 
himself. He frequently made us sing beside his bed, and often 
bade them sing the 23d Psalm. " I have no strength to sing here 
(he would say), I have a heart, but not strength ; when I get to 
heaven I'll be able to sing there." Sometimes he would bid them 
sing these words, " I'm not ashamed to own my Lord." He often 
repeated that hymn, and he left it in charge that it should be sung 
by the scholars on the night of his death. The G5th Paraphrase 
was also precious to him, especially that part, " Hark how the 
adoring hosts above." He loved these verses, and often wished 
that he were among that praising company. 

My sister once sent him a hymn, " The fulness of Jesus." He 
said he liked it all, but he liked the last verse best. 

" I long to be with Jesus 

Amid the hcjivenly throng, 

To sing with saints his praises, 

To learn the angeUs song." 


He delighted in secret jtrayer. In weakness and pain, yet he 
spent hours upon his knees, communing with an unseen God. 
When unable for the outward part of the exercise, he said, " O 
Margaret, I prayed to Jesus as long as I was able. But now I'm 
not able, and he does not want it from me ; but I'm just always 
giving him my heart." Many a night he got no sleep. I asked 
him if he wearied during the silent watches. He said, " No ; his 
left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me." 
God gave this dear boy a very calm and cheerful spirit in the 
midst of all his trials. Neither bodily pain nor the assaults of the 
devil could sour his temper, or ruffle his placid brow. At any 
time when his pain increased, he would say, "It is the Lord, let 
him do what seemeth him good." One time in deep darkness, he 
cried out, " Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Again, 
when his soul was more in the light he would say, "■ I long to de- 
part, and to be with Christ, which is far better ;" " but then I'm 
willing to wait the Lord's time ; good is the will of the Lord." 
Again he would say, "I long to be with Jesus. I long to see 
Jesus that died for me. If I am spared to go out again, I must 
just go leaning upon these words, ' My grace is sufficient for thee.' 
They will be sure to mock me, but they mocked Jesus before." 
Once he said to me, " I wondered when I have heard you say 
that Christ was sweet, but now I feel him to be sweet, sweet." 
One time I spoke of the fulness that is in Christ ; he said after- 
wards, " I just think that I am lying with my mouth at Christ, 
drawing from him." 

On the last day of 1841, he said to his sister, "I will tell you 
what I would like for my New Year (Gift). I would like a pray- 
ing heart, and a heart to love Christ more." Next day a woman 
came in, and said, " Poor Jamie ! you'll get no fun this New 
Year's Day." James said, " Poor body, she thinks like as I care 
for the New Year. I have far better than you have, though you 
had the whole world. This is the happiest New Year's Day that 
ever 1 had, for I have Christ." She was very deaf, and did not 
hear what he said ; but he often pitied that woman and prayed 
for her. 

At another time his father said, " Poor Jamie !" He replied, 
" Ah, father, don't call me poor, I am rich ; they that have Christ 
have all things." 

A little after the New Year, he said, " Margaret, I am not to 
die yet, for I have mair to suffer ; but I am willing, though it 
should be for years." On one occasion when he was suffering 
much pain, he said, "Five minutes in glory will make up for all 
this suffering." 

When Margaret had to go out with her father's dinner, she 
used to lock the door, leaving James alone within. On returning, 
she asked, " Were you wearying, Jamie ?" His reply was, " O 
no, Jesus takes care of me when you are out." One of his coun- 


try friends came in one day to see him, and said " I am sure you 
have a weary time of it, Jamie." He said, " Oh no, I never weary ; 
Christ keeps me from wearying." 

After a very happy communion season in April, I went to visit 
him. and he spoke in a most touching manner. " I was not sorry 
on Sabbatli that all the people were sitting at the Lord's Table, 
and me lying here, for I thought I would soon be at the table above 
with Christ, and then I would be far happier." 

In a season of great darkness, he said, " Margaret, give me my 
Bible" (meaning a little book of texts, called Dew Drops) ; when 
he had got it, he sought out the verse, " The Loi-d is a stronghold 
in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him." 
He said, "Margaret, I'll trust in him, though I cannot see him. I 
will lie down upon that verse." When his bed was made at night, 
he would take another verse to lie down upon, as he called it ; so 
he was fed by the dew and the word. 

A young woman who lived in the same lane was awakened to 
deep concern the same winter that James was brought to Christ. 
Before her concern she never came in to see James, though her 
mother often advised her to do so. But when she was brought 
to feel her sin and misery, she came m every Sabbath night, and 
was always tenderly kind to James. " How are you to-night, 
Jamie 1 (she would say) — you are well off when you can say, I 
have found Christ." Early in spring, this young woman evi- 
dently found the true rest for her weary soul in Jesus. She be- 
came a candidate for the Lord's table, and was to have been 
admitted, but God called her away to sit at the table that can 
never be drawn. She died full of joy, w'ith the praises of God 
upon her lips. Margaret had been present at this interesting death- 
bed, and when she returned home she told James. He answered 
with great composure, " I wish I had been away with her ; but I 
must wait the Lord's time. Betsy is singing now, and I will soon 
be there too." 

James used to take the bitterest medicines without any reluc« 
tance. He folded his hands, shut his eyes, and asked God to 
bless it to him. " Ah ! Margaret, if God do not bless it to me, it 
will do me no good." Often she asked, " Is it not bitter ?" He 
would say, " Yes, but Jesus had a bitterer cup to drink for me." 

In the summer of 1841, another remarkable boy, named James 
Wallace, had died in the Lord. He was one whom God taught 
in a wonderful manner. He had a singular gift of prayer, and 
was made useful to many, both old and young. James Laing 
had known him well in former days. In 1839, a younger brother 
of James Laing, named Patrick, had died also, not without pleas- 
ing marks of having undergone a divine change. It is needful to 
know these things, to understand the following dream of our little 

A short time after he believed, he said, "■ Margaret, I will tell 


you my dream." Margaret was afraid of some fancy leading 
him astray, and asked what it was. James, " I thought there was 
a ladder, the foot of it on earth, and tl^ie top of it reached to 
heaven. I thought it was heaven I saw. There was a great mul- 
titude of people, but I knew none of them but Patrick and Jamsie 
Wallace. When I was standing on the first or second step of the 
ladder, Jamsie Wallace looked down and said, ' Aye, liere's ano- 
ther one coming stepping up.'' " He explained it by referring to 
Jacob's ladder, and that Jesus is the ladder. Margaret said, " Aye, 
and you are just on the first step." 

He was very fond of the life of John Ross, and nearly had it by 
heart. He said he was in the same mind. Another little book he 
loved was, " A Dying Thief and a Dying Saviour." He left it to 
his father. The hymn at the end of it, " There is a fountain filled 
with blood," often fed his soul. 

He could write a little, and, like John Ross, he used that talent 
in writing down precious sentences : one of his little papers is 
now before me. " Stand fast in the Lord. Be ye faithful unto 
death. Abide in him, abide in him. Pray without ceasing. This 
is the end." 

In the latter part of his illness he was used as an instrument in 
awakening another boy, whose impressions I earnestly hope may 
never wear away. D. G. had been a very wild boy — so much 
so, that he was expelled from the Sabbath-school. He found his 
way into James' cottage, and there saw exemplified the truths he 
would not listen to in school. From that day till James died, 
David regularly visited him, and learned from him with deepest 
interest the things that belonged to his peace. James often 
prayed with him alone. Sometimes both prayed at the same time 
for a new heart. Margaret was always made to withdraw at 
these times. He pleaded with this boy to seek Jesus when 
young, " for it's easier to find Jesus when we are young. Look 
at Annie (a grown-up person, who had been long under concern), 
she has been long in seeking Christ, and she is long in finding. 
Mind what I told you, for I will soon be in heaven.' Boy, " Will 
you get to heaven ?" James, " O yes ! all that believe in Christ 
get to heaven, and I believe that Jesus died for me. Now, David, 
if I see you on the left hand, you will mind that I often bade you 
come to Christ." Boy, " I'll have naebody to pray with me, and 
tell me about my soul, when you are dead." James, "1 have 
bidden Margaret pray for you, and I have told the minister ; and 
go vou to our kirk, and he will tell you the way to come to 

Three times a-day did this anxious inquirer seek the prayers 
and counsels of his youthful 'xisiructor, till James' strength gave 
way, and he could talk no more. The day before he died, the 
boy came in ; James could hardly speak, but he looked steadily 
at him, and said, " Seek on David.'" 


The last visit I paid to this young Christian was on the Tues- 
day before he died, in company with Mr. Miller of Waliacetown, 
and Mr. Smith, one of our Jewish missionaries at Pesth, who was 
that same day to sail from his native land. After speaking a lit- 
tle we prayed, and I asked what I would pray i'or him. James 
said, " Dying grace." lie shook hands with us all. When the 
missionary held his hand, he said, " God's people have much need 
to pray for you, and for them there." When we had gone out he 
said, " Maybe I'll never see the minister again." 

On the Thursday he said, " Ah ! Margaret, mind it's no easy to 
die. You know nothing about it. Even though you have Christ, 
it is dark." The same day he bade her give D. G. his Sunday 
trovvsers, and new boots, that he might go to the church. He 
gave his father "The Dying Thief;" and said, "I am going to 
give Alick my Bible," (meaning Dew Drops.) There was a piece 
of money under his pillow. He said it was to buy Bibles to them 
that never heard of Jesus. 

His aunt came in on the Friday morning. He said, " Oh, aunt, 
don't put ofT- seeking Christ to a death-bed, for if I had Christ to 
seek to-day, what would have become of me ; but I have given 
my heart to Christ." jMargaret asked him, " What will I do ? I 
will miss your company in the house." James answered, " You 
maun just go the mair to Jesus. Do not be ill about me now, 
when I am dead, Margaret. If I thought that, I would be sorry, 
and more than that, God would be angry at you ; for I would be 
far happier. It is better to depart and be with Christ. Ask grace 
to keep you from it." 

All that day he spoke very little. In the evening he grew 
much worse. His sister wished to sit up with him that niight, but 
he would not allow her. She said, " These eyes will soon see 
him whom your soul loves." James said, " Aye." After mid- 
night Margaret, seeing him \yorse. arose and woke her father. 
She tried to conceal her tears ; but James savi^ them, and said, 
with a look of solemn earnestness, " O woman, I wonder to see 
you do the like of that." He spoke little alter this, and about one 
o'clock on the Saturday morning, 11th June, 1842, fell asleep in 

From this affecting history, all children, and especially the 
dear children committed to my care, should learn an impressive 
lesson. What is said of Abel is true of this dear boy, " He 
being dead yet speaketh." He warned many of you when 
he was on his dying bed ; he prayed for you, and longed for your 
conversion ; and now that he has gone to the world of praise and 
holiness and love, the history of his dying hours is a warning and 
an invitation to each of you. Yoc see here that you are not too 
young to have the Holy Spirit striving with you. You are not 
too young to resist the Holy Ghost. You are not too young to 
be couverted and brought to Christ. If you die without Christ 


you will surely perish. The most of you are wicked, idle, pro- 
fane, prayeriess, ungodly children. Many of you are open Sab- 
bath-breakers, liars, and swearers. If you die thus, you will have 
your part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. You 
will see this little boy, and others whom you know, in the king- 
dom of God, and you j^ourselves thrust out. O repent and be 
converted, that your sins may be blotted out. You may die very 
soon. O that your latter end may be like his ! 

Parents also may learn from this to seek the salvation of their 
children. Alas ! most parents in our day are like the cruel os- 
trich in the wilderness, " which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and 
warmeth them in the dust ; and forgetteth that the foot may crush 
them, or that the wild beast may break them: She is hardened 
against her young ones as though they were not hers." Job 
xxxix. 14-16. How many of you hold up your children before 
God and the congregation, and solemnly vow to bring them up 
for God, to pray for them, and in your family with them, and 
then return to your house with the guilt of perjury upon your 
soul ! Alas, are not the family altars of Scotland for the most 
part broken down, and lying desolate 1 Is not family govern- 
ment in most of your houses an empty name? Do not family 
quarrels, and unholy companies, and profane jests, and sordid 
worldliness, prevail in most of your tabernacles ? What can you 
expect but that your children shall grow up in your image, formal- 
ists, sacrament breakers, loose livers, tierce, incontinent, heady, 
high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God 1 O 
that God would touch your hearts by such a tale as this, that you 
may repent and turn to the Lord, and yearn over your children 
in the bowels of Jesus Christ. Would you not love to see them 
fall asleep in Jesus ? Would you not love to meet them at the 
right hand of the Judge ? Seek their conversion now, if you 
would meet them in glory hereafter. How will you bear to hear 
their young voices in the judgment, saying, " This father never 
prayed for me ; this mother never warned me to flee from the 
wrath to come ?" 

Dear brethren in the ministry and laborers in the Sabbath- 
school, suffer the word of exhortation from one who is " your 
brother and companion in tribulation." May we not learn from 
this ta be more earnest both in prayers and labors, in seeliing the 
salvation of little children. We have here one bright example 
more in addition to all those who have been recorded before, that 
God can convert and edify a chila with the same ease with which 
he can change the heart of a grown man. I have with reli- 
gious care refrained from embellishing, or in any way exagge- 
rating, the simple record of God's dealings with this boy. We 
must not " speak wickedly for God, nor talk deceitfully for him." 
All who knew him can tiear witness that I have spoken " the 


words of truth and soberness." Indeed the half has not been 

How evident is it. then, that God is willing and able to convert 
the younc; ! How plain that if God give grace, they can under- 
stand and relish divine things as fully as those of mature age ! 
A carnal mind of the first order will evermore despise and reject 
the way of salvation by Christ ; but the mind of a child quickened 
by the Holy Spirit, will evermore realize and delight in the 
rich und glorious mystery of the gospel. " I thank thee, O Fa- 
ther. Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things 
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 
Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." Let us 
awake from an unbelieving dream. Let us no more be content 
to labor without fruit. Let us seek the present conversion to 
Christ of our little children. Jesus has reason to complain of us 
that he can do no mighty works in our Sabbath-schools because 
of our unbelief. 

" Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise 
God, be honor and glory tor ever and ever. Amen." 


The Lord's Supper is the sweetest of all ordinances : L Be- 
cause of the time ivlicn it teas instituted : " The Lord Jesus, the 
same night in which he was betrayed, took bread." It was the 
darkest night that ever was in this world, and yet the brightest — 
the night when his love to sinners was put to the severest test. 
How amazing that he should remember our comfort at such a 
time ! 2. Because it is the believer's ordinance. It is the duty 
of all men to pray to God. God hears even the ravens when 
they cry, and so he often hears the prayers of unconverted men. 
Psalm cvii. ; Acts viii. 22. It is the duty of all men to hear 
the preached gospel. " Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is 
to the sons of men." But the Lord's Supper is the children's 
bread ; it is intended only for those who know and love the Lord 
Jesus. 3. Because Christ is the beginning, middle, and end of 
it. " This do in remembrance of me." " Ye do show the Lord's 
death till he come." There are many sermons in which Christ 
is not from beginning to end ; many books where you cannot 
find the fragrance of this name ; but there cannot be a sacra- 
ment where Christ is not from beginning to end ; Christ is the 
Alpha and Omega of the Lord's Supper ; it is all Christ and Him 
crucified. These things gi^e a peculiar sweetness to the broken 
bread and poured out wine 

I fear the Lord's Supper is profaned in a dreadful manner 
among you ; many come who are living in positive sins, or in 
the neglect of positive duties. Many come who know that they 


were never converted, many who in their hearts ridicule the very 
thoughts of conversion. Unworthy communicating is a fearful 
sin ; on account of it God is greatly provoked to withdraw his 
Spirit from you, to visit you with frowns of Providence, and to 
seal you to the day of perdition. Am I become your enemy, be- 
cause I tell you the truth ? Deal honestly with your soul, and 
pray over what I am now writing, and may He who opened the 
heart of Lydia open your heart while I explain. 


1. He take^ the bread and the wine. — When the minister offers 
the bread and wine to those at the table, this represents Christ 
freely offered to sinners, even the chief. The receiving of the 
bread and wine means — I do thankfully receive the broken, 
bleeding Saviour as my Surety. The act of taking that bread and 
wine is an appropriating act ; it is saying before God, and angels, 
and men, and devils, "I do flee to the Lord Jesus Christ as my 
refuge." Noah's entering into the ark was an appropriating act. 
Let others fly to the tops of their houses, to their castles and tow- 
ers, to the rugged rocks, to the summits of the highest mountains, 
— as for me, I believe the Word of God, and flee to the ark as 
my only refuge. Heb. xi. 7. When the man-slayer fled into the 
city of refuge, it was an appropriating act. As he entered breath- 
less at the gates of Hebron, his fi-iends might cry to him, Flee 
unto the wilderness ! or. Flee beyond Jordan I but no, he 
would say, I believe the Word of God that I shall be safe only 
within these walls ; this is my refuge city, here only will I hide ! 
Josh. XX. When an Israelite brought an offering of the herd or 
of the flock, when the pa-iest had bound it with cords to the horns 
of the altar, the offerer laid his hands upon the head of the lamb ; 
this was an appropriating act, as much as to say, I take this lamb 
as dying for me. The world might say. How will this save you ? 
mend your life, give alms to the poor. I believe the Word of 
God, he would say ; I do not wish to bear my own sins, I lay 
them on the Lamb of God. Lev. i. 4. When the woman, trem- 
bling, came behind Jesus and touched the hem of his garment, 
this also was an appropriating act. Her friends might say to her, 
Come and try some more physicians, or wait till you are some- 
what better. No, said she, " If I may but touch his garment, I 
shall be- made whole." Mark v. 28. In the 42d Psalm, David's 
enemies said to him continually " Where is thy God ?" This 
made tears his meat night and day. It was like a sword in his 
bones. But in the 43d Psalm he gathers courage, and says, " I 
will go unto the altar of God," where the lamb was slain ; and 
then he says, " Unto God my exceeding joy." You say, I have 
no God ; behold I take this lamb as slain for me, and therefore 
God is my God. In the Song of Solomon, when the bride found 
hiin whom her soul loved, she says, " I held him and would not 


let him go.*' This was true appropriating faith. The world 
might sav to her, " Come this way, and we will show thee other 
beloveds, fairer than thy beloved," Nay, saith she, "I held him 
and would not let him go. This is my beloved, and this is my 
friend." Song iii. 4. 

Just such, beloved, is the meaning of receiving broken bread 
and poured out wine at the Lord's table. It is the most solemn 
ap])ropriating act of all your lives. It is declaring by signs, " I 
do enter into the ark, I flee into the city of refuge, I lay my hand 
on the head of the Lamb, I do touch the hem of his garment, I do 
take .lesus to be my Lord and my dod ; I hold him, and by grace 
I will never let him go." It is a deliberate closing with Christ, by 
means of signs, in the presence of witnesses. When the bride 
accepts the right hand in marriage befoi-fe many witnesses, it is a 
solemn declaration to all the world that she does accept the bride- 
groom to be her only husband. So, in the Lord's Supper, when 
you receive that bread and wine, you solemnly declare, that, for- 
saking all others, you heartily do receive the Lord Jesus as your 
only Lord and Saviour. 

If these things be true, should not many stay away from this 
holy table ? Many of you know that a work f)f grace has never 
been begun in your heart ; you never were made to tremble for 
your soul ; you never were made to pray, " God be merciful to 
me a sinner ;" you never were brought to " rejoice, believing in 
God." Oh, beloved, let me say it with all tenderness, this table is 
not for you. Many of you know you are not in a state you would 
do to die in. You say, " I hope to turn yet before I die." Does 
not this show that your sins are not covered — that you are not 
born again — that you are not fled to the hope set before you? 
This table is not for you. Some of you know well that you have 
had convictions of sin, but they have passed away. The walls of 
the house of God have seen you trembling on the brink of eter- 
nity, but you were never brought to " peace in believing" — to 
"peace with God." You have drowned your anxieties in the 
whirl of business or of pleasure. You have drawn back. Your 
goodness is like the " morning cloud and early dew, it goeth 
away." This table is not for you. I speak to your sense of 
honor and common honesty. In worldly things, would you tell a 
lie either by word of mouth or by signs ? And is it a light matter 
to tell a lie in eternal things? Will you deliberately declare, by 
taking the broken bread and poured out wine, what you know to 
be a lie? Oh, pray over the story of Ananias and Sapphira. and 
tremble. Acts v. 1-1 L May it not be said in heaven of many, 
" Thou hast not lied unto men. but unto God ?"^ 

A word to trembilng, believing souls. This least is spread for 
you. " Eat. O friends ; drink, yea. drink abundantly, O beloved." 
If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed. come. If you are 
" weak in the faith," ministers are commanded to receive you. 


If, on the morning of the communion Sabbath — even for the first 
time in your life — Christ appear full and free to you, so that you 
cannot but believe on him, do not hesitate to come. Come to the 
table, leaning on the beloved, and you will have John's place 
there. You will lean peacefully upon his breast. 

II. He eats the bread and drinks the vnne. — " Take, eat" — 
" Drink ye all of it." Eating and drinking in this ordinance im- 
ply feeding upon Christ. It is said of bread that it strength- 
eneth man's heart," and of wine, that it " maketh glad the heart 
of man." Bread is the staff of life, and wine is very reviving to 
those who, like Timothy, have often infirmities. They are the 
greatest nutritive blessings which man possesses. To feed on 
them in the Lord's Supper is as much as to say, I do feed on 
Jesus, as my only strength ; " In the Lord have I righteousness 
and strength." To take the bread into the hand is saying by 
signs, " He is made of God unto me righteousness." To feed 
upon it is saying, " He is made unto me sanctification." 

When Israel fed on manna for forty years, and drank water 
from the rock, they were strengthened for their journey through 
the howling wilderness. This was a picture of believers journey- 
ing through this world. They feed every day on Christ their 
strength ; he is their daily manna ; he is the rock that follows 
them. When the bride sat under the shadow of the apple-tree, 
she says, '■ His fruit was sweet to my taste ;" and again, " Stay 
me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love." 
Believers, this is a picture of you. No sooner are you sheltered 
by the -Saviour, than you are nourished and renewed by him. 
He comforts your hearts, and stablishes you in every good word 
and work. In the 36th Psalm, when David speaks of men trusting 
under the wings of the Lord Jesus, he adds, " They shall be abun- 
dantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make 
them drink of the river of thy pleasures." Little children, you 
know by experience what this means. When you were brought to 
believe on the Son of God, you were adopted into his family, fed 
with the children's bread, and your heart filled with the holy plea- 
sures of God. The same thing is represented in feeding on the 
bread and wine. It is a solemn declaration in the sight of the 
whole 'world, that you have been put into the clefts of the smitten 
rock, and that you are feeding on the honey treasured there. It 
is declaring that you have sat down under Christ's shadow, and 
that you are comforted and nourished by the fruit of that tree of 
life. It is saying, "I have come to trust under the shadow of hia 
wings, and now I drink of the river of his pleasures." It is a 
sweet declaration of your own helplessness and weakness, and 
that Christ is all your strength — all your life. 

If this be true, should not many stay away from the Lord's 
table? Many of you know that you were never really grafted 

VOL. I. 20 


into the true vine — that you never received any nourishment from 
Christ — that you never received the Holy Spirit. Many of you 
know that you are dead branches — that you only seem to be 
unitetl to the vine — that }ou are the branches that bear no fruit, 
which he taketh away. Why should you feed on that bread 
and wine? Some of you may know that you are dead in sins, 
unconverted, unborn again — that you never experienced any 
change of heart like that spoken of, Ezek. xxxvi. 2(5. This bread 
and wine are not for you. Some of you know tiiat you are 
living under the power of sins that you could name ; son)e of 
you, perhaps, in secret profanation of the holy Sabbath, " d<^ing 
your own ways, finding your own pleasures, speaking your own 
words." Some, perliaps, in secret swearing, or lying, or dis- 
honesty, or drinking, or uncleanness ! Ah ! why should you feed 
on this bread and wine ? It will do you no good.. Can you for 
a moment doubt that you will eat and drink unworthily ? Dare 
you do this? Pray over these awful words and tremble : '• He 
that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damna- 
tion to himself." 

All who are really " looking unto Jesus" are invited to come 
to the Lord's table. Some feel like a sick person recovering 
from a fever ; you are witiiout strength, you cannot lift your hand 
or your head. Yet you look unto Jesus as your strength : He 
died for sinners, and he lives for them ; you look to him. day by 
iay. You say, He is my bread. He is my wine, I have no strength 
but what comes from Him. Come you and feed at the Lord's 
table, and welcome. Some feel like a traveller when he arrives 
at an inn, faint and weary : you have no strength to go faitiier, 
you cannot take another step, but you lean on Jesus as your 
strength ; you believe that word, " Because I live ye shall live 
also." Come you and feed on this bread and wine, with youi 
staff in your hand and shoes on your feet, and you will " go on 
your way rejoicing." Feeble branches need most nourishment. 
The more you feel your weakness, the amazing depravity of youi 
heart, the power of Satan, and the hatred of the world, the more 
need have you to lean on Jesus, to feed on this bread and wine — 
you are all the more welcome. 

III. He shares the bread and wine vnth others. — The Lord's 
Table is not a selfish solitary meal. To eat bread and wine 
alone is not the Lord's Supper. It is a family meal of that family 
Sj^)f)ken of in Eph. iii. 15. You do not eat and drink alone by 
yourself; you shaie the bread and wine with all at the sanie table. 
Jesus said, " Drink ye all of it." 

Tliis expresses loce to the. brethren, a sweet feeling of oneness 
with " all those who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity,'' a heart- 
filling desire that all should have the same peace, the same joy, 
the same spirit, the same holiness, the same heaven with yourself. 


You remember the golden candlestick in the temple, with its seven 
lamps. It was fed out of one golden bowl on the top of it, which 
was constantly full of oil. The oil ran down the shaft of the can- 
dlestick, and was distributed to each lamp by seven golden pipes 
or branches. All the lamps shai'ed the same oil. It passed from 
branch to branch. None of the lamps kept the oil to itself. It 
was shared among them all. So it is in the vine tree. The sap 
ascends from the root, and fills all the branches. When one branch 
is satisfied, it lets the stream pass on to the next. Nay, it carries 
the rich juice to the smaller twigs and tendrils, that all may have 
their share — that all may bear their precious fruit. So it is with 
the body. The blood comes from the heart in full and nourishing 
streams — it flows to all the members — one member conducts it to 
another, that all may be kept alive, and all may grow. 

So it is in the Lord's Supper. The bread and wine are passed 
from hand to hand, to show that we are members one of another. 
" For we being many, are one bread and one body, for we are all 
partakers of that one bread ;" 1 Cor. x. 17. It is a solemn de- 
claration that you are one with all true Christians, one in peace, 
one in feeling, one in holiness: and that if one member suffer, you 
will suffer with it, or if one member be honored, you will rejoice 
with it. You thereby declare that you are branches of the true 
Vine, and are vitally united to all the branches — that you wish the 
same Holy Spirit to pervade every bosom. You declare that you 
are lamps of the same golden candlestick, and that you wish the 
same golden oil to keep you and them burning and shining as 
lights in a dark world. Learn once more, that most should stay 
away from this table. Some of you know that you have not a 
spark of love to the Christians. You persecute them, or despise 
them. Your tongue is like a sharp razor against them ; you 
ridicule their notions of grace, and conversion, and the work of 
the Spirit. You hate their conversation ; you call it cant and hy- 
pocrisy. When they are speaking on Divine things with a full 
heart, and you come in, they are obliged to stop because you dis- 
like it. Why should you come to this holy table 1 What is hy- 
pocrisy, if this is not ? You put on a serious face and air ; you 
press eagerly in to the table ; you sit down, and look deeply 
solemnized; you take the bread into your hand, pretending to de- 
clare that you have been converted, and brought to accept of a 
crucified Christ. You then eat of the broken bread, and drink of 
that cup with evident marks of emotion, pretending that you are 
one of those who live upon Jesus, who are filled with the Spirit. 
You then pass the bread and wine to others, pi'etending that you 
love the Christians — that you wish all to be partakers with you in 
the grace of the Lord Jesus ; and yet all the while you hate and 
detest them — their thoughts, their ways, their company. Y'ou 
would not for the world become a man of prayer. Beloved souls, 
what is hypocrisy, if this is not ? I solemnly declare, that I had 


rather see you "breathing out threatenings and sliughter against 
the disciples of the Lord," than come to be a wolf in shee])'s cloth- 
ing. Are you not afraid, lest while you are sitting at the table, 
you should hear the voice of the Lord Jesus saying, "Judas, be- 
trayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ?" 

Dear believer, you "know that you are passed from death unto 
life, because you love the brethren." This pure and holy life is 
one of the first feelings in the converted bosom. It is divine and 
imperishable. You are a companion of all that fear God. It 
would be hell to you to spend eternity with wicked men. Come 
and show this love at the feast of love. The table in the upper 
room at Jerusalem was but a type and earnest of the table in the 
upper room of glory. Soon we shall exchange the table below 
for the table above, where we shall give full expression to our love 
to all eternity. There no betrayers can come — "no unclean thing 
can enter." Jesus shall be at the head of the table, and God shall 
wipe away all tears from our eyes. 


L Is ii to please your father or mother, or any one on earth 
that you think of coming to the Lord's table ? 

2. Is it because it is the custom, and your friends and compan- 
ions are coming ? 

3. Is it because you have come to a certain time of life? 

4. What are your real motives for wishing to come to the 
Lord's table ? Is it to thank God for saving your soul ? Psalm 
cxvi. 12, 13 ; to remember Jesus? Luke xxii. 19 ; to get near to 
Christ? Johnxiii. 23; or is it for worldly character? to gain a 
name 1 to gain money ? Matt. xxvi. 15. 

5. Who do you think should come to the Lord's table ? who 
should stay away ? 

6. Do you think any should come but those who are truly con- 
verted ? and what is it to be converted ? 

7. Would you come if you knew yourself to be unconverted ? 

8. Should those come who have had deep concern about their 
soul, but are not come to Christ? 

9. Do you think you have been awakened by the Holy Spirit ? 
brought to Christ ? born again? What makes you think so ? 

10. What is the meaning of the broken bread and poured out 

11. What is the meaning of taking the bread and wine into your 
hand? Have you as truly received the Lord Jesus Christ? 

12. What is the meaning of feeding upon them? Are you as 
truly living upon Christ? 

13. What is the meaning of giving the bread and wine to those 
at the same table with you? Do you as truly love the brethren? 



Exod. xii. ; Psalm xxii. li. Ixix. cxvi. ; Song of Sol. ; Isaiah liii. ; 
Matt. xxii. 1-14; xxvi. xxvii. ; Mark xiv. xv. ; Luke xxii. xxiii. ; 
John xiii. xiv. xv. xvi. xvii. ; 1 Cor. xi. 

St Peter's, Dundee, Oct. 1S41. 


" The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me ; because the Lord hath anointed me to 
preach good tidings unto the meek ; he hath sent me to bind up the broken- 
hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them 
that are bound ; to proclaim the Acceptable Year of the Lord, and the day of ven- 
geance of our God ; to comfort all that mourn ; to appoint unto them that mourn in 
Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment 
of praise for the spirit of heaviness ; that they might be called trees of righteous- 
ness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." — Isaiah Ixi. 1-3. 

It is six years, this day, since I first preached to you, as your 
pastor from these blessed words. These years have rolled past 
us like a mighty river. It is a solemn thing to look over them. In 
climbing a lofty mountain, it is pleasant to come every now and 
then to a resting place, where you may stand and look back. You 
can thus see the progress you have made, and you can observe 
the prospect widening all around you. In like manner, in going 
up the hill of Zion, it is pleasant to come to such a resting place 
as this day affords, that we may stand and see what progress we 
have made, and whether we have a wider, brighter prospect of 
eternal glory. How many have left our company since these six 
years began ! They have gone to render their last account in the 
world where time is not measured by years. Of some I trust we 
can say, " Blessed are the dead, for they died in the Lord." Many, 
I trust, have been born again — passed from death unto life — begun 
a new life that shall never have an end. Some, I hope, have been 
brought to climb a step higher on Jacob's ladder — to get nearer 
the top of Pisgah, to see more of Canaan's happy land. Some, I 
fear, have gone back, and walk no more with Jesus. Ye did run 
well, who did hinder you ? You did put your hand to the plough, 
but you have turned back, and are not fit for the kingdom of God. 
Some, I fear, are six years nearer to hell ; your ear more deaf to 
the voice of the charmer ; your heart more wedded to its idols ; 
more dead to God. Let us solemnly look back this day, both min- 
ister and people, and, oh, let us take warning by the errors of the 
past, and begin a new and better course from this day. 

I. The anointing of the Holy Spirit makes a successful Gospel 
minister. — So it was in Christ's ministry. " The Spirit of the 
Lord God is upon me," &c. So it is in every ministry. The 
more anointing of the Holy Spirit, the more success will the min- 
ister have. 


You remember the two olive trees that grew close beside the 
golden candlestick, and emptied the ijolcen oil out of themselves. 
Zech. iv. 12. These represent successful ministers — " anointed 
ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Oh see what 
need there is that ministers be filled with the Spirit — that, like 
John, they be " in the vSpirit on the Lord's Day" — that Christ's 
people may be kept " like a lamp that burneth !" You remember 
John the Baptist. The angel said of him before he was born — 
" He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's 
womb." What then will his success be ? " And many of the 
children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God." Oh learn 
what need there is that ministers be filled with the Holy Ghost, 
that they may be converting ministers — that, like John, they may 
" turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient 
to the wisdom of the just." 

You remember the Apostles ; before the day of Pentecost they 
were dry, sapless trees. They went over the cities of Israel 
preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom, and yet it would seem 
they had little or no success. They could not number many spi- 
ritual children. But when the day of Pentecost was fully come 
— when the Spirit came on them like a mighty rushing wind — 
then behold what a change ! Under the first sermon three thou- 
sand men were pricked in their heart, and said, " Men and bre- 
thren, what must we do ?" Oh see what need we have of a day 
of Pentecost to begin in the hearts of ministers, that our words 
may be like fire, and the hearts of the people like wood ! 

In looking back upon my ministry, I am persuaded that this has 
been the great thing wanting. We have not been like the green 
olive trees — we have not been like John the Baptist, filled with 
the Holy Ghost — we have not been like the Apostles on the day 
of Pentecost, filled as with a mighty rushing wind — we have not 
been able to say, like the Saviour, " The Spirit of the Lord God 
is upon me" — or you would not be as you are this day. There 
would not be so many dead sinners amongst you — slumbering un- 
der the voice of gospel mercy, on the very brink of hell. There 
would not be so many laboring and heavy laden souls going from 
mountain to hill, forgetting your resting place. There would not 
be so many children of light walking in darkness — dull, heavy, 
beclouded Christians. That is a piercing word — " If they had 
stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, 
then they should have turned from their evil way and from the 
evil of their doings ;" Jer. xxiii. 22. Success is the rule under a 
living ministry. Want of success is the exception. Oh pray that 
if God spare us another year, we may be more like the high priest 
who first went into the holiest of all, and then came out and lifted 
up his hands and blessed the people. Pray that we may be more 
like the angels, who always behold the face of our Father, and 
therefore are like a flame of fire. " He maketh his angels spirits, 


his ministers a flame of fire." You know that a heated iron, 
though blunt, will pierce its way, even where a much sharper in- 
strument, if it be cold, cannot penetrate. So if only our minis- 
ters be filled with the Spirit, who is like fire, they will pierce into 
the hardest hearts, where the sharpest wits cannot find their way. 
It was thus with Whitfield ; that great man lived so near to God, 
he was so full of heavenly joy and of the Spirit of God, that souls 
were melted under him like snow in thaw-time. John Newton 
mentions it as a fact that, in a single week, Whitfield received no 
fewer than a thousand letters from persons distressed in con- 
science under his preaching. Oh pray that we may not be 
" clouds without water," which indeed have all the appearance of 
clouds, but have no rain in them. Pray that we may come to 
you as Paul came to the Corinthians, " in weakness, and in (ear, 
and in much trembling ; and that our speech and our preaching 
may not be with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demon- 
stration of the Spirit and of power ;" 1 Cor. ii. 2 — 4. 

II. The subject matter of all faithful preaching. 

1. A faithful minister preaches good tidings to all distressed 
consciences. — This was one great object of Christ's ministry. 
" The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the 
meek," &;c. Jesus came to be a Saviour to the meek — not the na- 
turally gentle and sweet tempered, but those who are concerned 
about their souls. Men naturally say, " I am rich and increased 
with goods, and have need of nothing ;" therefore they are proud, 
and their tongue walketh through the earth. But when God be- 
gins a work of grace in their heart, he convinces of sin, he hum- 
bles them to the dust, and makes them feel " wretched, and mise- 
rable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Jesus always offered 
himself as a Saviour to such. One poor leper said, " Lord, if 
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean ;" Jesus said, " 1 will, be thou 
clean." Nay, he left an invitation which will be precious to bur- 
dened souls, even to the end of the world, " Come unto me, all 
ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ;" 
Matt. xi. 28. 

Jesus came " to hind up the broken-hearted." There is many 
a wounded heart that is not broken. The broken hearted are 
those who have lost all hope of saving themselves by their own 
righteousness. As long as a person has hope, the heart remains 
whole and unbroken. As long as a sailor's wife has hope that her 
husband's vessel may outride the storm, her heart is calm within 
her ; but when the fatal news comes — when an eye-witness tells 
that he saw the lifeless body sinking in the waves — the thread of 
hope is cut asunder, her heart dies within her, she droops, she sits 
down broken-hearted. As long as an awakened sinner has hope 
of saving himself — as long as he thinks that self-reformation, 
weeping over past sins, and resolving against future ones, will 


clear him before God — so long his heart is calm ; but when the 
fat;il news comes, that all he does is done out of a sinful heart, 
that even "his righteousnesses are as filthy rags," that "by the 
deeds of the law no flesh can be justified" — then does the heart of 
the sinner die within him ; he says, " It is done now, it is all done 
now, I never can do anything to justify myself" Is this the state 
of your soul? This is a case for Christ. He justifieth the un- 
godly ; he imputes righteousness without 'V^orks ; his blood and 
righteousness are ready for poor broken-hearted sinners. They 
are the very souls that answer him ; he is the very Saviour that 
answers them. Once a broken-hearted woman, who had spent 
her all upon physicians, and was nothing better, but rather worse 
came behind Jesus, and touched the hem of his garment. Did he 
show himself the Saviour of the broken-hearted ? Yes ; he said, 
"Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole." 

Jesus came " to p7-oclai?n liberty to the captives." All natural 
men are slaves. Some are bound, and know it not, like the slaves 
in the West Indies, who could not comprehend what liberty 
meant. They are corded by their sins, yet say, I am free. Some 
are bound and know it. They are awakened to feel the galling 
chains of lust ; they feel their feet sinking in miry clay. Some 
of you know what it is to sin and weep, and sin and weep again. 
" The way of transgressors is hard." Jesus came to be a Saviour 
to such. He came not only to be our righteousness, but to be a 
fountain of life. " In the Lord have I righteousness and strength." 
Once there was a man possessed by a legion of devils, exceeding 
fierce, who wore no clothes, and dwelt among the tcimbs. But 
Jesus conmianded the unclean spirit to go out of him, and " he sat 
down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind." 

One great object of our ministry among you has been to bring 
good tidings to distressed consciences. Blessed be God, there 
have always been some distressed consciences among you from 
the first day until now. In almost all our parishes, in these re- 
markable times, there are many souls under conviction of sin. 
There are always some who feel uneasy under the Word — who 
feel that their heart is not right with God, that they are slaves of 
sin, and who go on from day to day carrying a heavy burden. I 
have always tried to speak to such souls. I have sliown you 
plainly that you are not safe because you are anxious — that you 
need to be in Christ Jesus — that these convictions may die away. 
I have tried to let down the Gospel cord within your reach. I 
have showed you that Christ offers himself in a peculiar manner 
to such as you. " The whole have no need of a physician, but 
they who are sick." How often Brainerd records it in his journal, 
that a heavy laden soul was brought to true and solid comfort in 
Christ this day. Why have I so seldom to record the same thing 
of weary souls among you? For years I have gone among you 
preaching the only foundation of a sinner's peace. Yet how few 


have had a lively and soul-refreshing view of Christ? How few 
can say, " What things were gain to me these I count loss for 
Christ?" Ah! my friends, the fault lies with you or with me, for 
God has no pleasure in a burdened soul. " Oh that ye had heark- 
ened to my commandments, for then had your peace been like a 
river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea." 

2. A faithful pastor comfo7'ts mourners in Zion. — This was 
another great object of Christ's ministry — " to comfort all that 
mourn," &c. There are many things to bring a cloud over the 
brow of a Christian. There are outward troubles. " Many are 
the afflictions of the righteous." Persecutions will come ; '•• a 
man's foes shall be they of his own household." Temptations 
will come ; they are common to man. Sloth and want of watch- 
fulness often bring into darkness. Song v. 2-8. The body of 
sin often makes us cry, " Oh, wretched man." But the Lord 
Jesus has the tongue of the learned, to speak a word in season to 
them that are weary. The religion of Jesus is eminently the 
religion of joy. He does not love to see his church sitting in 
ashes, mourning, and heavy with sorrow. He loves to see her 
putting on his beautiful righteousness, filled with the holy spirit of 
joy, and clothed with the garment of praise, waving like green 
trees of righteousness to his glory. 

Once " Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but when he 
saw the wind boisterous he began to sink, and cried, Lord, save 
me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught 
him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou 
doubt ?" Christ has an almighty arm for sinking disciples to cling 
to. Once two disciples were walking towards a village north of 
Jerusalem. They talked earnestly together to beguile the way, 
and they were sad. A stranger drew near, and went with them. 
And as he went he expounded to them, in all the Scriptures, the 
things concerning Jesus ; in breaking of bread he was revealed 
to tliem, and left them exclaiming, " Did not our hearts burn within 
us !" So Jesus reveals himself to his own to this day, and makes 
the sad bosom burn with holy joy. 

This has been one of the chief objects of my ministry among 
you. That Scripture has been for some time deeply engraved 
upon my memory and heart, " He gave some pastors and 
teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the min- 
istry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. iv. 11, 12;) 
and, accordingly, it has been my endeavor to lead mourners in 
Zion to a meeting with Christ, who alone can restore comfort 
to them. What has been our success ? I fear there are not 
many of you as happy as you might be. Are not most like Peter 
sinking ; or sad, like the two going to Emmaus ? Are not most 
in all our parishes rather seeking than finding rest ? How little 
is there among you of the " beauty — the oil of joy, the garment 
of praise." How few can truly sing the 103d Psalm — how few 


feel their sins removed, as far as east is from the west — how few 
keep themselves in the love of God — how few have (vhrist dwell- 
ing in their hearts by faith — how few are filled with all the fulness 
of God, and rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory ! 

How often Brainerd mentions in his journal — "numbers wept 
affectionately, and to appearance unfeignedly, so that the Spirit 
of God seemed to be moving on the face of the assembly ;'' and 
again, " they seemed willing to have their ears bored to the door 
posts of God's house, and to be his servants for ever !" How little 
is there of this divine presence and holy impression in our assem- 
blies ! How many a meeting for prayer has lost the fervency 
which once it had ! Ah ! surely the fault lies with you or with 
me. Immanuel is still in the midst of us. He is still " full of grace 
and truth ;" he is "the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." Oh 
that t!ie little flock in this place were covered with his beauty, 
filled with his holy joy, and clothed with his garment of praise ! 

3. A faithful ruatchman preaches a free Saviour to ail the 
world. — This was the great object of Christ's ministry — " To pro- 
claim the acceptable year of the Lord." "Unto you, O men, I 
call," was the very motto of his life. On the year of jubilee the 
silver trumpet was made to sound throughout the whole hind. 
Every man might return to his possession; every slave might go 
free. Christ felt that the trumpet of the true jubilee was com- 
mitted to him ; and therefore his feet were beautiful upon the 
mountains, and he went about continually publishing glad tidings 
of peace. Once he stood among a crowd of unbelieving Jews. 
His word was, " Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast 
out ;" and again, to a similar crowd he said, "I am the door, by 
me if any man enter in he sliall be saved." When he died upon 
the cross, the priests scoffed at him, the people wagged their 
heads at him, the soldiers cast lots for his garment : but " the vail 
of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom ;" this signify- 
ing that the way into the holiest was now made manifest, that any 
sinner might enter in and be saved. When he arose from the 
dead there were but five hundred brethren who believed on his 
name : the whole world was lying in the wicked one ; every 
creature under the frown of an angry God. "Go ye (said he) 
into all the World, and preach the gospel to every creature." 
When Laodicea became a dead and luke-warm Church, fit only 
to be spued out of Christ's mouth, you would have expected a 
message of judgment. No, he sends one of free, boundless, glo- 
rious grace. " If any man will hear my voice and open the door, 
I will come in to him." 

This has been the great object of our ministry. In all our par- 
i.shes, at the present day. the great mass of the people are living 
without ('hrist, and without God, and without hope in the world. 
The most, even of church-going people, it is to be feared, are 
' dead in trespasses and sins." Ever since coming amo ng you, 


our great object has been to awaken such. We have proclaimed 
the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our 
God. We have told you that Christ is freely offered to you in 
your present condition, whatever that may be ; that though you 
have lived in sin, and are now living in sin, and God is angry 
with you every day, still Christ is free to you every day. We 
have told you that though you do not care for your soul, still 
Christ cares for it ; though you are lost, still Christ is seeking the 
lost ; though you are loving your simplicity, delighting in scorn- 
ing, and hating knowledge, still Christ is crying after you ; that 
before you repent, and before you believe, Christ is freely offered 
unto you ; " All day long have I stretched out my hands to a dis- 
obedient and gainsaying people." 

What has been our success ? Blessed be God, there are some 
of you who have fled for refuge to the hope set before you ; but 
the most sleep on. Six acceptable years have passed over you. 
A year of gospel preaching is an acceptable year ; a year of re- 
vival, w^hen many have been pressing into the kingdom of God, is 
still more an acceptable year ; both these have passed over you. 
The door has stood open all this time, and any sinner among you 
might have entered in. Bibles, ministers, providence, the Spirit 
striving — all have been pressing you to enter in. But you are 
still without ; Christless, unpardoned, unborn again, unsaved. 
What can you look for but " the day of vengeance ?" A year of 
mercy is past, a day of vengeance is coming. God pleads long, 
but judgment will be the work of a day. How many among you 
will never see such another season of grace as that which lately 
passed over you? You will probably never again have such an 
opportunity to be saved." " The harvest is past, the summer is 
ended, and you are not saved." Many of you will one day wish 
you had never heard of the acceptable year ; many of you will 
wish that you had never heard the preached gospel — that you had 
perished before the glorious work of God began. " Oh, that ye 
were wise, that ye understood this : that ye would consider your 
latter end." 

St. Peter's, Dundee, Nov. 27, 1842. 


" O satisfy us early witli thy mercy ; tliat we may rejoice ami be glad all our days." 

Psalm xc. 14. 

The late Countess of Huntingdon was not only rich in this 
world, but rich in faith, and an heir of the kingdom. When she 
was about nine years of age she saw the dead body of a little 
child of her own age carried to the grave. She followed the 
funeral ; and it was there that the Holy Spirit first opened her 


heart to convince her that she needed a Saviour. My dear little 
children, when you look upon the year that has come to an end, 
may the Holy Spirit bring you to the same conviction; may the 
still small voice say in your heart, Flee now from the wrath to 
come. Fly to the Lord Jesus without delay. "Escape for thy 
life : look not behind thee." 

I. Because life is very short. — " The days of our years are 
threescore years and ten ; and if by reason of strength they be 
fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow, for it is 
soon cut off, and we fly away." Even those wlio live longest, 
when they come to die, look back on their life as upon a dream. 
It is " like a sleep." The hours pass rapidly away during sleep ; 
and when you awake you hardly know that any time is passed. 
Such is life. It is like "a tale that is told." When you are listen- 
ing to an entertaining tale it fills up the time, and makes the hours 
steal swiftly by; even so ''we spend our years as a tale that is 

You have seen a ship upon the river when the sailors were all 
on board, the anchor heaved, and the sails spread to the wind, how 
it glided swiftly past, bounding over the billows; so is it with 
your days : " They are passed away as the swift ships." Or per- 
haps you have seen an eagle, when from its nest in the top of the 
rocks, it darts down with quivering wings to seize upon some 
smaller bird, how swiftly it flies, — so is it with your life : it flies 
" as the eagle hasteth to the prey," You have noticed the mist 
on the brow of the mountain early in the morning; and you have 
seen, when the sun rose with his warm cheering beams, how soon 
the mist melted away. And "what is your life ? It is even a 
vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." 

Some of you may have seen how short life is in those around 
you. " Your fathers, where are they ? And the prophets, do they 
live forever?" How many friends huve you lying in the grave? 
Some of you have more friends in the grave than in this world. 
They were carried away " as with a flood," and we are fast has- 
tening after them. In a little while the Church where you sit will 
be filled with new worshippers — a new voice will lead the psalm 
— a new man of God fill the pulpit. It is an absolute certainty 
that, in a few years, all of you who read this will be lying in the 
grave. Oh, what need, then, to fly to Christ without delay ! How 
great a work you have to do ! How short the time you have to 
do it in ! You have to flee from wrath — to come to Christ — to 
be born again — to receive the Holy Spirit — to be made meet for 
glory. It is high time that you seek the Lord. The longest life- 
time is short enough. Seek conviction of sin and an interest in 
Christ. " Oh, satisfy me early with thy mercy, that I may rejoice 
and be glad all my days." 


II. Because life is very uncertain. — Men are like grass ; " In 
the morning, it groweth up and flourisheth : in the evening, it is 
cut down and withereth." Most men are cut down while they 
are green. More than one-half of the human race die before they 
reach manhood. In the city of Glasgow alone, more than one- 
half of the people die before the age of twenty. Of most men it 
may be said, — "He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down." 
Death is very certain, but the time is very uncertain. Some may 
think they shall not die because they are in good health, but you 
forget that many die in good health, by accidents, and other 
causes. Again, riches and ease and comforts, good food and good 
clothing, are no safeguards against dying. It is written, " The 
rich man also died, and was buried." Kind physicians and kind 
friends cannot keep you from dying. When death comes, he 
laughs at the efforts of physicians — he tears you from the tender- 
est arms. Some think they shall not die because they are not 
prepared to die ; but you forget that most people die unprepared 
— unconverted — unsaved. You forget that it is written of the 
strait gate, " Few there be that find it." Most people lie down in 
a dark grave, and a darker eternity. Some of ydu may think you 
shall not die because you are young. You forget that one-half of 
the human race die before they reach manhood. The half of the 
inhabitants of this town die before they are twenty. Oh, if you 
had to stand as often as I have beside the dying bed of Uttle chil- 
dren — to see their wild looks and outstretched hands, and to hear 
their dying cries — you would see how needful it is to fly to Christ 
now. It may be your turn next. Are you prepared to die ? 
Have you fled for refuge to Jesus ? Have you found forgiveness? 
" Boast not thyself of to-morrow ; for thou knowest not what a 
day may bring forth." 

^ III. Most that are ever saved jly to Christ when young. — It 
was so in the days of our blessed Saviour. Those that were 
come to years were too wise and prudent to be saved by the blood 
of the Son of God, and he revealed it to those that were younger 
and had less wisdom. " I thank, thee, O Father, Lord of heaven 
and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so 
it seemed good in thy sight." "He gathers the lambs with his 
arm, and carries them in his bosom." So it has been in almost 
all times of the revival of religion. If you ask aged Christians, 
the most of them will tell you that they were made anxious about 
their souls when young. 

Oh, what a reason is here for seeking an early in-bringing to 
Christ ! If you are not saved in youth, it is likely you never will. 
There is a tide in the affairs of souls. There are times which 
may be called converting times. All holy times are peculiarly 
converting times. The Sabbath is the great day for gathering in 


souls — it is Christ's market-day. It is tiie great harvest-day of 
souls. I know there is a generation rising up that would fain 
trample the Sabhath beneath their feet ; but prize you the Sab- 
bath-day. The time of affliction is converting time. When God 
takes away those you love best, and you say, "This is the finger 
of God," remember it is Christ wanting to get in to save you : 
open the door and let him in. The time of the striving of the 
Holy Spirit is converting time. If you feel your heart pricked 
in reading the Bible, or in hearing your teacher, "quench not 
the Spirit;" "resist not the Holy Ghost;" "grieve not the Holy 
Spirit of God." Youth is converting time. " Suffer little children 
to come unto me, and forbid them not." Oh, you that are lambs, 
seek to be gathered with the arm of the Saviour, and carried in 
his gentle bosom. Come to trust under the Saviour's wings. 
*' Yet there is room," 

IV. Because it is happier to he in Christ than out of Christ. — 
Many that read these words are saying in their heart, It is a dull 
thing to be religious. Youth is the time for pleasure — the time 
to eat, drink, and be merry — to rise up to play. Now, I know 
that youth is the time for pleasure : the loot is more elastic then — 
the eye more full of life — the heart more full of gladness. But 
that is the very reason why I say youth is the time to fly to Christ. 
It is far happier to be in Christ than to be out of Christ. 

1. It satisfies the heart. — I never will deny that there are 
pleasures to be found out of Christ. The song and the dance, and 
the exciting game, are most engaging to young hearts. But ah ! 
think a moment. Is it not an awllil thing to be happy when you 
are unsaved? Would it not be dreadful to see a man sleeping in 
a house all on fire ? And is it not enough to make one sliudder 
to see you dancing and making merry when God is angry with 
you every day ? 

Think again. Are there not infinitely sweeter pleasures to be 
had in Christ ? " Whoso drinketh of this water shall thirst again ; 
but whoso drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never 
thirst." " In thy presence is fulness of joy : at thy right hand are 
pleasures for evermore." To be forgiven — to be at peace w-ith 
God — to have him for a Father — to have him loving us and smi- 
ling on us — to have the Holy Spirit coming into our hearts, and 
making us holy — this is worth a whole eternity of your pleasures. 
" A day in thy courts is better than a thousand." Oh to be " sat- 
isfied with favor, and full with the blessing of the Lord !" Your 
daily bread becomes sweeter. You eat your meat with gladness 
and singleness of heart, j>raising God." Your foot is more light 
and bounding, for it bears a ransomed body. Your sleep is 
sweeter at night for " so he giveth his beloved sleep." Tlie sun 
shines more lovingly, and the earth wears a pleasanter smile, be- 
cause you can say, " My Father made them all." 


2. It makes you glad all your days. — The pleasures of sin are 
only " for a season ;" they do not last. But to be brought to 
Christ is like the dawning ot an eternal day : it spreads the se- 
renity of heaven over all the days of our pilgrimage. In suffer- 
ing days, what will the world do for you? " Like vinegar upon 
nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart." Believe me, 
there are days at hand when you will " say of laughter, It is mad ; 
and of mirth. What doth it ?" But if you fly to Jesus Christ now, 
he will cheer you in the days of darkness. When the winds are 
contrary and the waves are high, Jesus will draw near and say, 
" Be not afraid ; it is I." That voice stills the heart in the stor- 
miest hour. When the world reproaches you, and casts out your 
name as evil — when the doors are shut — Jesus will come in and 
say, "' Peace be unto you." Who can tell the sweetness and the 
peace which Jesus gives in such an hour ? One little girl that 
was early brought to Christ felt this when long confined to a sick- 
bed. "I am not weary of my bed," she said, "for my bed is 
green ; and all that I meet with is perfumed with love to me. 
The time, night and day, is made sweet to me by the Lord. When 
it is evening, it is pleasant ; and when it is morning I am re- 

Last of all, in a dying day, what will the world do for you ? 
The dance and the song and the merry companion will then lose 
all their power to cheer you. Not one jest more. Not one smile 
moie. " Oh that you were wise, that you would understand this, 
and consider your latter end." But that is the very time when 
the soul of one in Christ rejoices with a joy unspeakable and full 
of glory. " Jesus can make a dying bed softer than downy pil- 
lows are." You remember when Stephen came to die. they bat- 
tered his gentle breast with cruel stones ; but he kneeled down 
and said, " Lord Jesus receive my spirit." John Newton tells us 
of a Christian girl who, on her dying day, said, " If this be dying, 
it is a pleasant thing to die." Another little Christian, of eight 
years of age, came home ill of the malady of Vv^hich he died. 
His mother asked him if he were afraid to die ? " No," said he, 
" I wish to die, if it be God's will : that sweet word, Sleep in Jesus, 
makes me happy when I think on the grave." 

" My little children, of whom I travail in birth again till Christ 
be foruied in you," if you would live happy and die happy, come 
now to a Saviour. The door of the ark is wide open. Enter 
now, or it may be never. 



"O the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be 
as 11 straiijrcr in the hind, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a 
nijfht .' Why shouldc.«t thou be as a man astonished, as a mighty man tliut can- 
not save ? yet thoUj O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are culled by thy 
name; leave us not.' — Jer. xiv. 8, 9. 

In many parts of Scotlanrl there is good reason to think that 
God is not a stranger ; but that tlie Lord Jesus has been making 
hiinselt' known, and that the Holy Spirit has been quickening 
whom He will. Still, in most parts of our land, it is to be feared 
that God is a stranger, and like a wayfaring man who turneth 
aside to tarry for a night. 

1. How few conversions are there in the midst of us! When 
God is present with power in any land, then there are always 
many awakened to a sense of sin and flocking to Christ. One 
godly minister, speaking of such a time, says, "There were 
tokens of God's presence in almost every house. It was a time 
of joy in families, on account of salvation being brought unto them. 
Parents were rejoicing over their children as new-born ; husbands 
over their wives ; and wives over their husbands. The town 
seemed to be full of the presence of God. It never was so full 
of love nor of joy, and yet never so full of distress, as it was 
then." We have nothing of the kind amongst us. Alas ! what 
a dismal contrast do most of our families present. How many 
families where there is not one living soul ! 

2. How much deadness there is among true Christians ! In 
times of reviving, when God is present with power in any land, 
not only are unconverted persons awakened, and made to flee to 
Christ, but those who were in Christ before, receive new mea- 
sures of the Spirit ; they undergo, as it were, a second new-birth ; 
they "are brought into the ]);^lace of the King, and say, " Let him 
kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for thy love is better than 
wine." A dear Christian in such a time, says, "My wickedness, 
as I am in myself, has lone appeared to me perfectly ineflable — 
like an infinite deluge, or moyaitains over my head. I know not 
how to express better what my sins appear to me to be, than 
by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multiplying infinite by infi- 
nite. V^ery often these expressions are in my mind, and in my 
mouth, infinite upon infinite, infinite upon'intinite." How little of 
this feeling is there amongst us ! How few seem to feel sin as an 
infinite evil ! How plain that God is a stranger in the land I 

3. How great is the boldness of sinners in sin. As in Jere- 
miah's day, so in ours;, many seem as if "their neck were an 
iron sinew, and their brow brass." When God is present with 
power, then open sinners, though they may remain unconverted, 

• Inserted by permission of Messrs. J. Gull and Son, Edinburgh, the publishers. 


are often much restrained. There is an awe of God upon their 
spirits. Alas ! it is not so amongst us. The flood-gates of sin 
are opened. " They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not." 
Is it not. then, a time to cry, " Oh the hope of Israel, the Saviour 
thereof," &c. 

Should we not solemnly ask this question, What are the reasons 
why God is such a stranger in this land ? 

I. In Ministers. — Let us begin with those who bear the vessels 
of the sanctuary. 

(1.) It is to be feared there is much unfaithful preaching to 
the unconverted. Jeremiah complained of this in his day, " They 
have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, say- 
ing peace, peace, when there is no peace." Is there no reason 
for the same complaint in our own day ? The great part of all 
our congregations are out of Christ, and lying night and day un- 
der the wrath of the Lord God Almighty ; and yet it is to be 
feared that the most of the minister's anxiety and painstaking is 
not taken up about them ; that his sermons are not chiefly occu- 
pied with their case. All the words of men and angels cannot 
describe the dreadfulness of being Christless ; and yet, it is to be 
feared, we do not speak to those who are so with anything like 
sufficient plainness, frequency, and urgency. Alas ! how few 
ministers are like the angels at Sodom, mercifully bold to lay 
hands.on lingering sinners. How few obey that word of Jude, 
" save with fear, pulling them out of the fire." 

Many of those who deal faithfully, yet do not deal tenderly. 
We have more of the bitterness of man than of the tenderness 
of God. We do not yearn over men in the bowels of Jesus 
Christ. Paul wrote of "the enemies of the cross of Christ" with 
tears in his eyes ! There is little of his weeping among minis- 
ters now. " Knowing the terrors of the Lord," Paul persuaded 
men. There is little of this persuading spirit among ministers 
now. How can we wonder that the dry bones are very, very 
dry — that God is a stranger in the land ? 

(2.) It is to be feared there is much unfaithfulness in setting 
forth Christ as a refuge for sinners. When a sinner is newly 
converted, he would fain persuade every one to come to Christ. 
The way is so plain, so easy, so precious. He thinks, oh, if I 
were but a minister, how I would persuade men ! This is a true 
feeling and a right feeling. But oh, how little is there of this 
among ministers ! David said, " I believed, therefore have I 
spoken." Few are like David in this. Paul said he was "deter- 
mined to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ, and him cru- 
cified." Few are like Paul in this. Many do not make it the end 
of their ministry to testify of Jesus as the hiding-place for sin- 
ners. It is to be feared that many are like the Scribes and Pha- 
risees ; they hold the door in their hand ; they enter not in them- 

"OL. I. 21 


■elves, and ihern that are entering in they hinder. Some set forth 
Christ plainly and faithfully, but where is Paul's heseecJnng men 
to be reconciled ? We do not invite sinners tenderly, we do not 
gently woo them to Christ ; we do not authoritatively bid them to 
the marriage ; we do not compel them to come in ; we do not tra- 
vail in birth till Christ be formed in them the hope of glory. Oh 
who can wonder that God is such a stranger in the land l 

II, In Christian people. 

(1.) In regard to the Word of God. There seems little thirst 
for hearing the Word of God among Christians now. As a de- 
licate stomach makes a man eat sparingly, so most Christians 
seem sparing in their diet in our day. Many Christians seem to 
mingle pride with the hearing of the Word. They come rather 
as judges than as children. Few behave themselves as a weaned 
child. Most seem to prel'er the seat of Moses to the seat of Mary 
at the feet of Christ. Many come to hear the word of a man 
that shall die, and not the Word of the living God. Oh, should 
not Christians be taught this prayer ? " Oh the hope of Is- 
rael." (fee. 

(2.) In regard to prayer. There is much ploughing and much 
sowing, but verij little harrowing in of the seed by prayer. God 
and your conscience are witnesses how little you pray. You 
know you would be men of power if you were men of prayer, and 
yet you will not pray. Unstable as water, you do not excel. 
Luther set apart his three best hours for prayer. How few Lu- 
thers we have now ! John Welsh spent seven hours a day in 
prayer. How few Welshes w-e have now ! 

It is to be feared there is little intercession among Christians 
now. The high priest carried the names of the children of Israel 
upon his shoulders and breast ^vhen he drew near to God — a pic- 
ture of what Christ now does, and all Christians should do. God 
and your conscience are witnesses how little you intercede for 
your children, your servants, your neighbors, the Church of your 
fathers, and the wicked on every side of you. How little you pray 
for ministers, for the gift of the Spirit, for the conversion of the 
world. How selfish you are even in your prayers ! 

It is to be feared there is little union in prayer. Christians are 
ashamed to meet together to pray. Christ has promised, *' If 
two of you shall agree on earth, touching something that you 
shall ask, it shall be done for you of my Father." Many Chris- 
tians neglect this promise. In the Acts, we find that when the 
apostles and disciples were praying together, "the place was 
sh;iken where they were assembled together, and they were all 
filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with 
boldness." Oh, how often and how long have we despised this 
way of obtaining the outpouring of the Spirit ! Do not some per- 
sons speak slightingly of united prayer ( Here is one reason why 


God commands the clouds that they rain no rain on us. He waits 
till we seek him together, and then he will open the windows of 
heaven and pour down a blessing. Oh, that all Christians would 
lift up the cry, " Oh the hope of Israel !" 

III. In unconverted souls. — There is much to blame in minis- 
ters, and much in the people of God ; but most of all to blame in 
unconverted souls. 

(1.) Sinners in our day have great insensibility as to their lost 
condition. Many know that they never believed on the Son of 
God, and yet they are smiling and happy. Many know that they 
were never born again, and that the Bible says they cannot see 
the kingdom of God ; and yet their step is as light, and their laugh 
as loud, as if they were heirs of the kingdom of God, instead of 
heirs of hell ! It is this that keeps God away, and makes him a 
stranger in the land. 

(2.) Sinners in our day have great insensibility as to their need 
of Jesus Christ. The Bible declares him to be the friend of sin- 
ners ; yet how many read this who are contented to live without 
knowing him. Though Christians are always speaking of the ex- 
cellency of Christ — that he is the chiefest among ten thousand, 
and altogether lovely ; yet most see no form nor comeliness in 
Christ, no beauty that they should desire him. They are willing 
to hear of heaven or hell rather than of Christ. Ah, this is the 
crowning sin of Scotland, contempt of Christ, rejection of a freely 
offered Saviour ! Oh, ye deaf adders, that will not hear the voice 
of the charmers, it is you that make God a stranger in the land, 
and like a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night ! 
(3.) There has been much resisting of the Spirit in our day. In 
some parts of Scotland this is eminently true. Many have been 
pricked to the heart, and yet have smothered their convictions. 
Some have been brought to intense anxiety about their souls, but 
have looked back, like Lot's wife, and become pillars of salt ! Oh, 
it is this keeps God away ! 

Dear, unconverted sinners, ye little know how much you are 
interested in that this should be a time of reviving from the pre- 
sence of the Lord. It is not our part to tell of coming judgments, 
of fire from heaven or fire from hell ; but this we can plainly see, 
that, unless the Spirit of God shall come down on our parishes 
like rain on the mown grass, many souls that are now in the land 
of peace shall soon be in the world of tossing and anguish ! There 
may be no sudden judgment ; hell may not be rained down from 
heaven, as upon Sodom ; the earth may not yawm to receive her 
prey, as in the camp of Israel ; but Sabbath-breakers, liars, swear- 
ers, drunkards, unclean persons, formalists, worldlings, and hypo- 
crites, yea, all Christless souls, will quietly slip away, one by one, 
into an undone eternity ! Come, then, and let every believer, and 
above all every minister, stir up his heart to lay hold on God and 

824 r LOVE THE lord's day. 

cry, " Oh, the hope of Isiael, the Saviour thereof in time of trouble, 
wh]/ shouidst thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring 
man that turneth aside lo tarry for a night !" 

It has been the practice of many ministers in England and 
Scotland to hold a concert for prayer, every Saturday morning, 
from seven to eight o'clock. Several ministers of our own 
Church have been in use to meet at the throne of grace on Satur- 
day evening, at seven o'clock. Many congregations in different 
parts of Scotland have agreed to a concert for prayer in secret, 
and in the family, from eight to nine on Sabbath mornings. 

Might not the Christian ministers and people of Scotland, while 
separated in body, in this manner maintain union in prayer, and 
so the cloud of blessing, that is now like a man's hand, might 
spread over the whole sky, and bring times of refreshing from the 
presence of the Lord ? 


" The Sabbath was made for man." 

Dear Fellow-Countrymen, — As a servant of God in this dark 
and cloudy day, I feel constrained to lift up my voice in behalf of 
the entire sanctification of the Lord's Day. The daring attack 
that is now made by some of the Directors of the Edinburgh and 
Glasgow Railway on the Law of God and the peace of our Scot- 
tish Sabbath — the blasphemous motion which they mean to pro- 
pose to the Shareholders in February next — and the wicked 
pamphlets which are now being circulated in thousands, full of all 
manner of lies and impieties — call loudly for the calm, delibe- 
rate testimony of all faithful Ministers and private Christians in 
behalf of God's holy day. In the name of all God's people in this 
town and in this land, I commend to your dispassionate consider- 
ation the following 


I. Because it is the Lord's Day. " This is the day which the 
Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm cxviii. 
24. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." Rev. i. 10. It is 
his, by example. It is the day on which he rested from his 
amazing work of redemption. Just as God rested on the seventh 
day from all his works, wherefore God blessed the Sabbath day, 
and hallowed it — so the Lord Jesus rested on this day Irom all 
his agony, and pain, and humiliation, " There remaineth. there- 
fore, the keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God." Ileb. iv. 
9. The Lord's Day is his property. Just as the Lord's Supper 
is the supper belonging to Christ. It is his table, lie is the 
bread lie is the wine. He invites the guests. He fills them 

I LOVE THE lord's DAY. 325 

with joy and with the Holy Ghost. So it is with the Lord's Day. 
All days of the year are Christ's, but he hath marked out one in 
seven as peculiarly his own. " He hath made it," or marked it 
out. Just as he planted a garden in Eden, so he hath fenced 
about this day and made it his own. 

This is the reason why we love it, and would keep it entire. 
We love everything that is Christ's. We love his Word. It is 
better to us than thousands of gold and silver. " O how we love 
his law — it is our study all the day." We love his House. It is 
our trysting-place with Christ, where he meets with us and com- 
munes with us from off the mercy-seat. We love his Table. It 
is his banqueting-house, where his banner over us is love — where 
he looses our bonds and anoints our eyes, and makes our hearts 
burn with holy joy. We love his people, because they are his, 
members of his body, washed in his blood, filled with his spirit, 
our brothers and sisters for eternity. And we love the Lord's 
Day, because it is his. Every hour of it is dear to us — sweeter 
than honey, more precious than gold. It is the day he rose for 
our justification. It reminds us of his love, and his finished 
work, and his rest. And we may boldly say that that man does 
not love the Lord Jesus Christ who does not love the entire 
Lord's Day. 

Oh Sabbath-breaker, whoever you be, you are a sacrilegious 
robber ! When you steal the hours of the Lord's Day for busi- 
ness or for pleasure, you are robbing Christ of the precious hours 
which he claims as his own. Would you not be shocked if a plan 
were deliberately proposed for breaking through the fence of the 
Lord's Table, and turning it into a common meal, or a feast for 
the profligate and the drunkard ? Would not your best feelings 
be harrowed to see the silver cup of communion made a cup of 
revelry in the hand of the drunkard ? And yet what better is the 
proposal of our Railway Directors ! " The Lord's Day'' is as 
much his day as " the Lord's Table" is his table. Surely we may 
well say in the words of Dr. Love, that eminent servant of Christ, 
now gone to the Sabbath above — "Cursed is that gain, cursed is 
that recreation, cursed is that health, which is gained by criminal 
encroachments on this sacred day." 

II. Because it is a relic of Paradise and type of Heaven. — 
The first Sabbath dawned on the bowers of a sinless Paradise. 
When Adam was created in the image of his Maker, he was put 
into the garden to dress it and to keep it. No doubt this called 
forth all his energies. To train the luxuriant vine, to gather the 
fruit of the fig-tree and palm, to conduct the water to the fruit- 
trees and flowers, required all his time and all his skill. Man 
was never made to be idle. Still, when the Sabbath Day came 
round, his rural implements were all laid aside ; the garden no 
longer was his care. His calm, pure mind, looked beyond things 

326 I LOVE THE lord's DAY. 

seen into the world of eternal realities. He walked with God in 
the garden, seeking deeper knowledge of Jehovah and his ways, 
his heart burning more and more with holy love, and his lips 
overflowing with seraphic praise. Even in Paradise man needed 
a Sabbath. Without it Eden itself would have been incomplete. 
How little they know the joys of Eden, the delight of a close and 
holy walk with God, who would wrest from Scotland this relic of 
a sinless world ! 

It is also the type of heaven. When a believer lays aside his 
pen or loom, brushes aside his worldly cares, leaving them behind 
him with his week-day clothes, and comes up to the house of God, 
it is like the morning of the resurrection, the day when we shall 
come out of great tribulation into the presence of God and the 
Lamb. When he sits under the preached word, and hears the 
voice of the Shepherd leading and feeding his soul, it reminds him 
of the day when the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall 
feed him and lead him to living fountains of waters. When he 
joins in the psalm of praise, it reminds him of the day when his 
hands shall strike the harp of God — 

" Where congregations ne'er break up^ 
And Sabbaths have no end." 

When he retires, and meets with God in secret in his closet, or, 
like Isaac, in some favorite spot near his dwelling, it reminds him 
of the day when " he shall be a pillar in the house of our God, and 
go no more out." 

This is the reason why we love the Lord's Day. This is the 
reason why we "call the Sabbath a delight." A well-spent Sab- 
bath we feel to be a day of heaven upon earth. For this reason 
we wish our Sabbaths to be wholly given to God. We love to 
spend the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's 
worship, except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity 
and mercy. We love to rise early on that morning, and to sit up 
late, that we may have a long day with God. 

How many may know from this that they will never be in 
heaven ? A straw on the surface can tell which way the stream 
is flowing. Do you abhor a holy Sabbath ? Is it a kind of hell 
to you to be with those who are strict in keeping the Lord's Day ? 
The writer of these lines once felt as you do. You are restless 
and uneasy. You say, " Behold what a weariness is it." " When 
will the Sabbath be gone that we may sell corn ?" Ah ! soon, 
very soon, and you will be in hell. Hell is the only place for you. 
Heaven is one long never-ending holy Sabbath Day. There are 
no Sabbaths in hell. 

III. Because it is a day of blessings. — When God instituted the 
Sabbath in Paradise, it is said, " God blessed the Sabbath Day, 
and sanctifled it." Gen. ii. 3. He not only set it apart as a 

1 LOVE THE lord's DAY. 327 

sacred day, but made it a day of blessing. Again, when the Lord 
Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week before 
dawn, he revealed himself the same day to two disciples going to 
Emmaus, and made their hearts burn within them. Luke xxiv. 
13. The same evening he came and stood in the midst of the 
disciples, and said, " Peace be unto you, and he breathed on them 
and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." John xx. 19. Again, 
after eight days, that is the next Lord's Day, Jesus came and 
stood in the midst, and revealed himself with unspeakable grace 
to unbelieving Thomas. John xx. 26. It was on the Lord's Day, 
also, that the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. (Acts ii. 
1, compare Lev. xxiii. 15, 16.) That beginning of all spiritual 
blessings, that first revival of the Christian Church, was on the 
Jyord's Day. It was on the same day that the beloved John, an 
exile on the sea-girt isle of Patmos, far away from the assembly 
of the saints, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and received his 
heavenly Revelation. So that in all ages, from the beginning of 
the world, and in every place where there is a believer, the Sab- 
bath has been a day of double blessing. It is so still, and will be, 
though all God's enemies should gnash their teeth at it. True, 
God is a God of free grace, and confines his working to no time 
or place ; but it is equally true, and all the scoffs of the infidel 
cannot alter it, that it pleases him to bless his word most on the 
Lord's Day. All God's faithful ministers in every land can bear 
witness that sinners are converted most frequently on the Lord's 
Day — that Jesus comes in and shows himself through the lattice 
of ordinances oftenest on his own day. Saints, like John, are 
filled with the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and enjoy their calmest, 
deepest views into the eternal world. 

Unhappy men, who are striving to rob our beloved Scotland of 
this day of double blessing, ye " know not what ye do." You 
would wrest from our dear countrymen the day when God opens 
the windows of heaven and pours down a blessing. You want 
to make the heavens over Scotland like brass, and the hearts of 
our people like iron. Is it the sound of the golden bells of our 
ever-living High Priest on the mountains of our land, and the 
breathing of his Holy Spirit over so many of our parishes, that 
has roused up your satanic exertions to drown the sweet sound 
of mercy by the deafening roar of railway cannages ? Is it the 
returning vigor of the revived and chastened Church of Scotland 
that has opened the torrents of blasphemy which you pour forth 
against the Lord of the Sabbath ? Have your own withered 
souls no need of a drop from heaven ? May it not be the case 
that some of you are blaspheming the very day on which your 
own soul might have been saved ? Is it not possible that some of 
you may remember, with tears of anguish, in hell, the exertions 
which you are now making, against light and against warning, to 

828 I LOVE THE lord's DAY. 

bring down a withering blight on your own souls and on the re 
liginn of" Scotland ? 

To those who are God's children in this land, I would now, in 
the name of our common Saviour, who is Lord of the Sabbath 
Day, address 


I. Prize the Lord's Day. — The more that others despise and 
trample on it, love you it all the more. The louder the storm of 
blasphemy howls around you, sit the closer at the feet of Jesus. 
" He must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet.'* Dili- 
gently improve all holy time. It should be the busiest day of the 
seven : but only in the business of eternity. Avoid sin on that 
holy day. God's children should avoid sin every day, but most 
of all on the Lord's Day. It is a day of double cursing as well 
as of double blessing. The world will have to answer dreadfully 
for sins committed in holy time. Spend the Lord's Day in the 
Lord's presence- Spend it as a day in heaven. Spend much of 
it in praise and in works of mercy, as Jesus did. 

II. Defend the Lord's Day. — Lift up a calm undaunted tes- 
timony against all the profanations of the Lord's Day. Use all 
your influence, whether as a statesman, a magistrate, a master, a 
rather, or a friend, both publicly and privately, to defend the en- 
tire Lord's Day. This duty is laid upon you in the Fourth Com- 
mandment. Never see the Sabbath broken without reproving the 
breaker of it. Even worldly men, with all their pride and con- 
tempt for us, cannot endure to be convicted of Sabbath breaking. 
Always remember God and the Bible are on your side, and that 
you will soon see these men cursing their own sin and folly when 
too late. Let all God's children in Scotland lift up a united testi- 
mony especially against these three public profanations of the 
Lord's Day : — 

1. The keeping open of Reading-rooms. — In this town, and in 
all the large towns of Scotland, I am told, you may find in the 
public reading-rooms many of our men of business turning over 
the newspapers and magazines at all hours of the Lord's Day ; 
and, especially on Sabbath evenings, many of these places are 
filled like a little Church. Ah, guilty men ! how plainly you show 
that you are on the broad road that leadeth to destruction. If 
you were a murderer or an adulterer, perhaps you would not dare 
to deny this. Do you not know, and all the sophistry of hell 
cannot disprove it, that the same God who said, " Thou shalt not 
kill," said also, " Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy ?" 
The murderer who is dragged to the gibbet, and the polished 
Sabbath-breaker, are one in the sight of God. 

2. The keeping open Public-houses. — Public-houses are 'he 

I LOVE THE lord's DAY. 329 

curse of Scotland. I never see a sign, " Licensed to sell spirits," 
without thinking that it is a license to ruin souls. They are the 
yawning avenues to poverty and rags in this life, and, as another 
has said! " the short cut to 'hell." Is it to be tamely borne in this 
land of light and reformation, that these pest-houses and dens of 
iniquity — these man-traps for precious souls — shall be open on the 
Sabbath— nay, that they shall be enriched and kept afloat by this 
unholy traffic, many of them declaring that they could not^ keep 
up their shop if it were not for the Sabbath market-day ? Surely 
we may well say, " Cursed is the gain made on that day." Poor 
wretched men I Do you not know that every penny tha.t rings 
upon your counter on that day will yet eat your flesh as if it were 

fii-e that every drop of liquid poison swallowed in your gas-lit 

palaces will only serve to kindle up the flame of " the fire that is 

not quenched." • r i -rv 

3. Sundaij Trains upon the Railwaij.—k majority ol the Direc- 
tors of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway have shown their 
determination, in a manner that has shocked all good men, to open 
the Railway on the Lord's Day. The sluices of infidelity have 
been opened at the same time, and floods of blasphemous tracts 
are pouring over the land, decrying the holy day of the blessed 
God, as if there was no eye in heaven, no King on Zion Hill, no 
day of reckoning. . . 

Christian countrymen, awake ! and. filled by the same spirit 
that delivered our country from the dark superstitions of Rome, 
let us beat back the incoming tide of infidelity and enmity to the 

Sabbath. , , j , 

Guilty men ! who, under Satan, are leading on the deep dark 
phalanx of Sabbath-breakers, yours is a solemn position. You 
are robbers. You rob God of his holy day. You are murderers. 
You murder the souls of your servants. God said, " Thou shalt 
not do any work, thou, nor thy servant ;" but you compel your ser- 
vants to break God's law, and to sell their souls for gain. You 
are sinners against light. Your Bible and your catechism, the 
words of godly parents, perhaps now in the Sabbath above, and 
the loud remonstrances of God-fearing men, are ringing in your 
ears, while you perpetrate this deed of shame, and glory in it. 
You are traitors to your country. The law of your country de- 
clares that you should " observe a holy rest all that day from your 
own words, works and thoughts ;" and yet you scout it as an anti- 
quated superstition. Was it not Sabbath-breaking that made God 
cast away Israel ? And yet you would bring the same curse on 
Scotland now. You are moral suicides, stabbing your own souls, 
proclaiming to the world that you are not the Lord's people, and 
hurrying on your souls to meet the Sabbath-breaker's doom. 

In conclusion, I propose, for the calm consideration of all sober- 
minded men, the following 



1. Can you name one godly minister, of any denomination in 
all Scotland, who does not hold the duty of the entire sanctifica- 
tion of the Lord's Day ? 

2. Did you ever meet with a lively believer in any country under 
heaven — <jne who loved Christ, and lived a holy life — who did not 
deliglit in keeping holy to God the entire Lord's Day. 

3. Is it wise to take the interpretation of God's will concerning 
the Lord's day from "men of the world," from infidels, scotl'ers, 
men of unholy lives, men who are sand-blind in all divine things, 
men who are the enemies of all righteousness, who quote Scrip- 
ture freely, as Satan did, to deceive and betray ? 

4. If, in opposition to the uniform testimony of God's wisest 
and holiest servants — against tiie plain warnings of God's word — 
against the very words of your catechism, learned beside your 
mother's knee — and against the voice of your outraged conscience 
— you join the ranks of the Sabbath-breakers, will not this be a 
sin against light — will it not lie heavy on your soul upon your 
death-bed — will it not meet you in the Judgment Day 1 

Praying that these words of truth and soberness may be owned 
of God, and carried home to your hearts with divine^ power — I 
remain, dear fellow countrymen, your soul's well-wisher, &ic. 

December 18, 1841. 


1. Sabbath coynmanded. — Ex. xvi. 22-30 ; xx. 8-11 ; xxxv. 1-3. 
Lev. xix. 3-30. Deut. v. 12-15. Neh. ix. 14. 

2. A sign of God's people. — Ex. xxxi. 12-17. 2 Kings iv. 23. 
Ezek. XX. I2. * Lam. i. 7. Heb. iv. 9. 

3. Sabbath-breaking punished. — Num. xv. 32-36. Lev. xxvi. 
33-35. 2Chr. xxxvi. 21. Jer. xvii. 19-end. Lam. ii. 6. Ezek. 
XX. 12-20. Amos viii. 4-14. 

4. Day of blessing. — Gen. ii. 2, 3. Ex. xvi. 24. Lev. xxiv. 8. 
Num. xxviii. 9, 10. "isaiah Ivi. 1-8 ; Iviii. 13, 14. John xx. 1, 19, 
26. Acts ii. 1, with Lev. xxiii. 15. Rev. i. 10, 

5. Rulers should guard the Sabbath. — Ex. xx. 10. Neh. xiii. 

6. Sabbath in gospel times. — Psalm cxviii. 24. Isaiah Ixvi. 23. 
Ezek. xlvi. 1. Mark ii. 27,28. Acts ii. 1 ; xx. 6,7. 1 Cor. xvi. 
2. Rev. i. 10. 



Siu — I have read the report of your speech at the meeting of 
Directors of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, on Tuesday, 
16th November last, and also the motion which you propose to 


lay before the shareholders on the 24thi February. As a Christian 
minister, and a free British subject, I take leave to express in this 
manner the deep feelings of righteous indignation which these 
have awakened, not in my breast only, but in the breast of every 
believing man whom I know. 

You candidly acknowledge that in the ranks of your opponents 
are to be found " men of lofty intellect, of great learning and 
piety, and unbounded benevolence," and yet, in the same breath, 
you say " you must judge for yourself, according to the reason 
and plain sense of the matter." That is to say, that the host of 
intellectual and pious men who are arrayed against you, do not 
judge according to reason or plain sense in this matter, but by 
some airy superhuman notions, which a man of sense may brush 
aside as so many cobwebs. Ah, sir, speak out your mind ! Tell 
what it is that lies at the bottom of your enmity to the entire pre- 
servation of the Lord's Day. It is the concealment of your sen- 
timents that is the darkest part of youi whole address. You are 
an utter stranger to me, and I dare not judge as to your true mo- 
tives. But every thinking man cannot but form this opinion in 
his own mind, that the reason why you despise the lessons of all 
God's holiest and wisest servants in this land, is not that you 
think little of the resolutions of popular assemblies (that is a mis- 
erable subterfuge, unworthy of any but a mere debater,) but that 
you despise and trample under foot the divine message which 
they bring. You say you are threatened to be overwhelmed 
with a flood of obloquy. Do not be afraid. You are on the 
world's side — " the world cannot hate you." There are not many 
to lift up their voices in behalf of the holy Sabbath. Those who 
do, are the followers of one who bade us bless and curse not. 
You say " you do not court approbation, and you care nothing for 
condemnation." This may be a brave speech: few will regard 
it as a wise one. If you mean that you do not care for the con- 
demnation of worldly men, there would be something right in 
that, for in doing our duty, we must expect that the world which 
crucified our Lord will not spare his servants ; but if you mean 
that you do not care for the condemnation of God's people, and 
of the Word of God, and of the Lord Jesus, who is to be your 
Judge, then will you soon repent your Words with bitter tears. 
Why, sir, what are you, that you should say, " I care nothing for 
condemnation?" "Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands 
be strong in the day that I shall deal with thee ?" " Hast thou an 
arm like God, or canst thou thunder with a voice like him ?" If 
the condemnation of your words, which God's people are now 
testifying in every part of the land, be righteous condemnation— 
if it be in accordance with the Word of God and the minrl of 
Christ — is it the part of a wise man to say, ^^ I care not for it?" 
You may say so now in the blindness of your heart, but the day 
is at hand when you will/eeZ the reverse. 


And now one word as to your proposed motion. It runs as 
follows : — " Whereas it is the duty of the Directors of the Com- 
pany to give implicit obedience to the Law of God, &c,, — This 
meeting resolves that it is not inconsistent with the duty of the 
Directors as aforesaid, and they are hereby enjoined to provide 
trains to be run from the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow re- 
spectively, in the morning and in the evening of Sunday," &c. 

I do not know whether this motion has come entirely from your 
own mind, or whether several have agreed with you in it ; but 
I here freely state my conviction, formed upon the calm and de- 
liberate study of the motion, and without the slightest desire to use 
a harsh or improper term, that the jmotion is blasphemous. You 
say. first, that it is your duty to give implicit obedience to the Law 
of God. What is the Lawof God ? " Remember the Sabbath Day to 
keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work : but the 
seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt 
not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-ser- 
vant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is 
within thy gates : For in six days the Lord made heaven and 
earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh-day ; 
wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it," 
Exodus XX. 8-11. Now, sir, if, as I presume, you spent your 
early years in Scotland, trained up, perhaps, under the watchful 
eye of one who prayed for her child that he might walk in wis- 
dom's ways, vou cannot be ignorant of the explanation given of 
this Comma dment in the Shorter Catechism. {Qu. GO.) *' The 
Sabbath i^ ,o be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even 
from sucl) worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on 
other days, spending the ichole time in the public and private ex- 
ercises ot God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in 
the works of necessity and mercy." This is the Law of God, 
and this is the received interpretation of it, both of which were, 
no doubt, in your eye when you penned that memorable sentence, 
"It is the duty of the Directors to give implicit obedience to the 
Law of God." And yet, before the ink was dry, you write down, 
" The Directors are enjoined to provide trains to be run in the 
morning and evening of Sunday." In other words, you hold in 
your hand the Two Tables of Stone, written with God's finger, 
and you say, we should obey this, and then you dash them on the 
ground, and say it is our duty, notwithstanding, to trample on 
and defy them. Ah ! sir, you may call this reason and plain 
sense, but simpler men can see that it is open mockery of God's 
Holy Law, and of Him on whose heart it was graven from eter- 
nity. Such lip-acknowledgment of God and his Law, God hates 
and despises. I solemnly declare, and it is the feeling of many 
besides me, that I would have been less shocked if you had 
written down, " It is the duty of the Directors to break God's 
Law." That would have been lionest and downright, and thou- 


sands would have applauded you. But when you set out with the 
hypocritical declaration that it is your duty to give implicit ohc' 
dience to the Law of God, and then conclude by declaring your 
resolution to break it, I believe in my heart that not only will 
God's children abhor the blasphemy, but honest worldly men will 
despise your cowardice. And now, sir, 1 have done. You little 
know the feelings of deep compassion with which you, and the 
unhappy men who voted with you, are regarded by many an 
humble and holy believer, who loves, because he knows the pre- 
ciousness of, an unbroken Sabbath Day. Never in all my expe- 
rience did I meet with a child of God who did not prize, above 
all other earthly things, the privilege of devoting to his God the 
seventh part of his time. It is still a sign between God and his 
Israel. It is this simple fact, sir, that affords me ground to fear 
that, with all your talents, with all your reason and plain sense, 
you are yet an utter stranger to the peculiar tastes, and joys, and 
hopes of those who love the Lord. You pi'oclaim your own 
shame. You prove, even to the blind world, that you are not 
journeying toward the Sabbath above, where the Sabbath-breaker 
cannot come. If you shall really carry your motion, against the 
prayers and longings of God's people in this land, then, sir, you 
will triumph for a little while ; but Scotland's sin, committed 
against light, and against solemn warning, will not pass unavenged. 
— I am, Sir, &c. 

P. S. — As an advocate learned in the law, you must be well 
aware that the law of God, as expounded by the Confession of 
Faith of the Established Church of Scotland (and which is sub- 
scribed by every denomination of orthodox Dissenters in Scot- 
land, is also the law of the land, as ratified and enacted by the 
Act 1690 of the Parliament of Scotland in the two following 
clauses : — 

" As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion 
of time be set apart for the worship of God, so, in his Word, by 
a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in 
all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a 
Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him ; which, from the beginning of 
the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the 
week,' and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the 
first day of the week, which in Scripture is called the Lord's 
Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Chris- 
tian Sabbath." 

" This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, 
after a due preparin"^ of their hearts, and ordering of their com- 
mon affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the 
day from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their 
worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the 


whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and 
in the duties of necessity and mercy." 

If this be true, which you know it is, then you stand convicted 
before the Britisii public as one who proclaimed it to be the duty 
of the Directors to break both the Law of God and the law of the 

St. Peter's, Dundee, 1st December^ 1S41. 



Dear Sir — Allow me, for the first time in my life, to ask a 
place in your coluinns. My object in doing so is not to defend 
myself, which we are all perhaps too ready to do, but to state 
simply, and calmly, what appear to me to be the Scriptural grounds 
of Free Ministerial Communion among all who are faithful minis- 
ters of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whatever name known among 
men. These views I have long held ; they were maintained by 
the early Reformers, and by the Church of Scotland in her best 
days, and I bless God that, by the decision of the last General 
Assembly, they are once more declared to be the principles of our 
beloved Church. I am anxious to do this, because the question is 
one of great difficulty, requiring deeper thoughts than most have 
bestowed upon it ; and it is of vast importance, in this day of 
conflicting opinions, to be firmly grounded on the Lord's side. 

Of the respectable ministers, who so lately officiated for me 
during my illness, I shall say nothing, except that they agreed to 
assist me in a time of need in the kindest manner, and that, how- 
ever much I difler from them on several points of deepest interest, 
I, along with many in the Church, do regard them as faithful minis- 
ters of Christ ; and I trust they will utterly disregard the poor in- 
sinuations as to their motives, (contained in the letters of your 
correspondents,) which, I regret to say, disfigure your last paper. 

In order to clear our way in this subject, allow me to open up, 
first, the subject of Free Communion among private Christians, 
and then that of Free Communion among Christian Ministers. 

L I believe it to be the mind of Christ, that all who are vitally 
united to him, should love one another, exhort one another daily, 
communicate freely of their substance to one another when poor, 
pray with and for one another, and sit down together at the 
Loi'd's table. Each of these positions may be provea by the 
Word of God. It is quite true that we may be frequently de- 
ceived in deciding upon the real godliness of those with whom 
we are brought into contact. The Apostles themselves were de- 
ceived, and we must not expect to do the work of the ministry 
with fewer difficulties than they had to encounter. Still I have 


no doubt from Scripture that, where we have good reason for re- 
garding a man as a child of God, we are permitted and com- 
manded to treat him as a brother ; and, as the most secret pledge 
of heavenly friendship, to sit down freely at the table of our com- 
mon Lord, to eat bread and drink wine together in remembrance 
of Christ. The reason of this rule is plain. If we have solid 
groimd to believe that a fellow-sinner has been, by the Holy 
Spirit, grafted into the true vine, then we have ground to believe, 
that we are vitally united to one another for eternity. The same 
blood has washed us, the same Spirit has quickened us, we lean 
upon the same pierced breast, we love the same law, we are 
guided by the same sleepless eye, we are to stand at the right 
hand of the same throne, we shall blend our voices eternally in 
singing the same song, " Worthy is the Lamb !" Is it not rea- 
souable, then, that we should own one another on earth as fellow- 
travellers to our Father's house, and fellow-heirs of the incor- 
ruptible crown ? Upon this I have always acted, both in sitting 
down at the Lord's table, and in admitting others to that blessed 
privilege. I was once permitted to unite in celebrating the Lord's 
Supper in an Upper Room in Jerusalem. There were fourteen 
present, the most of whom, I had good reason to believe, knew 
and loved the Lord Jesus Christ. Several were godly Episco- 
palians, two were converted Jews, and one a Christian from 
Nazareth, converted under the American Missionaries. The 
bread and wine were dispensed in the Episcopal manner, and 
most were kneeling as they received them. Perhaps your cor- 
respondents would have shrunk back with horror, and called this 
the confusion of Babel ; we felt it to be the sweet fellowship with 
Christ and with the Brethren ; and as we left the Upper Room, 
and looked out upon the Mount of Olives, we remembered with 
calm joy the prayer of our Lord that ascended from one of its 
shady ravines, after the first Lord's Supper. " Neither pray I for 
these alone, but for them also which shall believe in me through 
their word, that they all may be one." 

The table of Christ is a family table spread in this wilderness, 
and none of the true children should be absent from it, or be 
separated while sitting at it. We are told of Rowland Hill, that, 
upon one occasion, *' when he had preached in a chapel where 
none but baptized adults were admitted to the sacrament, he 
wished to have communicated with them, but was told respectfully, 
you cannot sit down at our table. He only calmly replied, ' I 
thought it was the Lord's table.' " 

Tne early Reformers held the same view. Calvin wrote to 
Cranmer that he would cross ten seas to bring it about. Baxter, 
Owen, and Howe, in a later generation, pleaded for it ; and the 
Westminster Divines laid down the same principle in few but 
solemn words, " Saints, by profession, are bound to maintain an 
holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God — which 


commLinion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto 
all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord 
Jesus." These words, embodied in our standards, show clearly 
that the views maintained above are the very principles of the 
Church of Scotlaiul. 

2. The second Scriptural Communion is Ministerial Commu- 
nion. Here also I believe it to be the mind of Christ, that ail who 
are true servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, sound in the faith, 
called to the ministry, and owned of God therein, should love one 
another, pray one for another, bid one another God speed, own 
one another as fellow-soldiers, fellow-servants, and fellow-laborers 
in tlie vineyard, and, so far as God offereth opportunity, help one 
another in the work of the ministry. Each of these positions also 
may be proved by the Word of God. I am aware that j)ractically 
It is a point of far greater difficulty and delicacy than the com- 
munion of private Christians, because I can own many a one as a 
fellow Christian, and can joyfully sit down with him at the Lord's 
Table, while I may think many of his views of divine truth de- 
fective, and could not receive him as a sound teacher. But 
although caution and sound discretion are no doubt to be used in 
apjilying this or any other Scripture rule, yet the rule itself appears 
to be simple enough — that, where any minister of any denomina- 
tion holds the head, is sound in doctrine and blameless in life, 
preaches Christ and him crucified as the only way of pardon, and 
the only source of holiness, especially if he has been owned of 
God in the conversion of souls and upbuilding of saints, we are 
bound to hold ministerial communion with him, whenever Provi- 
dence opens the way. What are we that we should shut our 
pulpits against such a man? True, he may hold that Prelacy is 
the scriptural form of church government. He may have signed 
the 37th article of the Church of England, giving the Queen the 
chief power in all causes, whether ecclesiastical or civil ; still if 
he be a Berridge or a Rowland Hill, he is an honored servant of 
Christ. True, he may hold establishments to be unscriptural — he 
may not see as I do that the Queen is the minister of God, and 
ought to use all her authority in extending, defending, and main- 
taining the Church of Christ — still, if he be like some I could 
name, he is a faithful servant of Christ. True, he may have in- 
consistencies of mind which we cannot account for — he may have 
prejudices of sect and education which destroy much of our com- 
fort in meeting him (and can we plead exemption from these?) — - 
he may sometimes have spoken rashly and uncharitably (I also 
have (lone the same) — still, I cannot but own him as a servant of 
Christ. If the Master owns him in his work, shall the sinful fel- 
low-servant disown him ? Shall we be more cautious than our 
Lord ? True, lie may have much imperfection in his views ; so 
had Apollos. He may be to be blamed in some things, and with- 
stood to the face : so it was with Peter. He may have acted a 


cowardly part at one time ; so did John Mark. Still I maintain 
that unless he has shown himself a Demas, " a lover of this present 
world ," or one of those who have a " form of godliness, denying 
the power thereof," we are not allowed to turn away from him, 
nor to treat him as an adversary. 

Such were the principles of the Reformers. Calvin says of 
Luther, when he was loading him with abuse, " Let him call me 
a dog or a devil, I will acknowledge him as a servant of Christ." 
The devoted Usher preached in the pulpit of Samuel Rutherford ; 
and at a later date, before the unscriptural Act of 1799 was passed, 
to hinder faithful English ministers from carrying the light of 
Divine truth into the death-like gloom of our Scottish parishes, a 
minister of the Synod of Glasgow defended himself for admitting 
Whitfield into his pulpit in these memorable words: — "There is 
no law of Christ, no act of Assembly, prohibiting me to give my 
pulpit to an Episcopal, Independent or Baptist minister, if of sound 
principles in the fundamentals of religion, and of sober life."* 
The same truth is clearly to be deduced from the 25th chapter of 
the Confession of Faith, where it is declared that " the visible 
Church consists of all those throughout the world that profess the 
true reKgion, together with their children." And then it is added, 
" Unto this Catholic visible Church Christ hath given the min- 
istry," &c. From which it plainly follows, that faithful ministers 
belonging to all parts of the visible Church are to be recognized 
as ministers lohom Christ hath given. Such I believe to be 
the principles of God's word ; such are clearly the views of the 
standards of our Church, and I do hail it as a token that the Spirit 
of God was really poured down upon the last General Assembly, 
that they so calmly and deliberately swept away the unchristian 
Act of 1799 from the statute-book, and returned to the good old 

It has often been my prayer, that no unfaithful minister might 
ever be heard within the walls of St. Peter's. My elders and 
people can bear witness that they have seldom heard any voice 
from its pulpit that did not proclaim " ruin by the Fall, righteous- 
ness by Christ, and regeneration by the Spirit." Difficult as it is 
in these days to find supply, I had rather that no voice should be 
heard there at all than " the voice of strangers," from whom 
Christ''s sheep will flee. Silence in the pulpit does not edify souls, 
but it does not ruin them. But the living servant of Christ is dear 
to my heart, and welcome to address my flock, let him come from 
whatever quarter of the earth he may. I have sat with delight 
under the burning word.s of a faithful Lutheran pastor. I have 
been fed by the ministrations of American Congregationalists, and 
devoted Episcopalians, and all of my flock who know and love 
Christ would have loved to hear them too. If dear Martin Boos 

♦ See Presbyterian Revkrv for January^ 1839, where most of the above facts are more 
fully stated, and similar views ably advanced, by a dear fellow-laborer in the ministry 
VOL. I. 22 


were alive, pastor of the Church of Rome though he was, he 
Would have been welcome too ; and who that knows the value of 
souls and the value of a living testimony would say it was wrong ? 

Had 1 admitted to my pulpit some frigid Evangelical of our 
own Church — (I allude to no individual, but I fear it is a common 
case) — one whose head is sound in all the stirring questions of the 
day, but whose heart is cold in seeking the salvation of sinners, 
would any watchful brother of sinners have sounded an alarm in 
the next day's gazette to warn me and my flock of the sin and 
danger 1 I tear not. And yet Baxter says of such a man, " iVo- 
tl>ing can be more indecent than to hear a dead preacher speak- 
ing to dead sinners the living truth of the living God." With 
such ministers I have no communion. " O my soul, come not 
thou into their secret ; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not 
thou united." 

In conclusion, lei me notice the effect of this Free Ministerial 
Communion upon our glorious struggle for Christ's kingly office 
in Scotland. I believe with many of my brethren that the 
Church of Scotland is at this moment a city set upon a hill that 
cannot be hid. I believe she is a spectacle to men and to angels, 
contending in the sight of the universe for Christ's twofold crown 
— his crown over nations, and his crown over the visible Catholic 
Church. She stands between the Voluntary on the one side, and 
theErastian on the other, and with one hand on the Word of God. 
and the other lifted up to heaven, implores her adorable head to 
uphold her as a faithful witness unto death, in a day of trouble, 
and rebuke, and blasphemy. In generations past this cause has 
been maintained in Scotland at all hands, and against all enemies ; 
and if God calls us to put our feet in the blood-stained footsteps 
of the Scottish worthies, I dare not boast, but I will pray that the 
calm faith of Hugh Mackail, and the cheerl'ul courage of Donald 
Cargill may be given me. But is this a reason why we should 
not live up to the spirit of the New Testament, in our dealiug 
with Christians and Christian ministers of other denominations? 
Is this a reason why we should not wipe off every stain from the 
garments of our beloved Church ? Is it not the very thing that 
demands that each member of our Church should set his house 
in order, purging out all the old leaven of carnal division, reform- 
ing his own spirit and family, according to the rule of God's Word 
— that elders and ministers should seek revival and reformation in 
their private and public walk, and pant after more of the spirit of 
our suffering head and elder brother ? If a faithful Episcopal 
minister be wrong in his views of Church government, as I be- 
lieve he is — if many of our faithful Dissenting brethren are wrong 
in opposing Christ's hjadship over nations, as I believe they are 
— what is the scriptujal mode of seeking to set them right ? Is it 
to set up unscriptural barriers between iis and them ? Is it to 
countthem as enemies, however much Christ acknowledges them 


as good and faithful servants ? Is it to call them by opprobrious 
epithets — to impute mean and wicked motives for their undertak- 
ing the holiest services — to rake among the ashes for their hard 
sayings ? I think not. Christ's way is a more excellent way, 
however unpleasant to the proud carnal heart. " Let us, there- 
fore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded, and if in anything ye 
be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." I 
have looked at this question from the brink of eternity, and in 
such a light, I can assure your correspondents that, if they know 
the Lord, they will regret, as I have done, the want of more cau- 
tion in speaking of the doings and motives of other men. Let 
us do our part towards our Dissenting brethren according to the 
Scriptures, however they may treat us. We shall be no losers. 
Perhaps we may gain those who are brethren indeed to think 
more as we do. At least they will love us, and cease to speak 
evil of us. 

If our Church is to fall under the iron foot of despotism, God 
grant that it may fall reformed and purified — pure in its doctrine, 
government, discipline, and worship — scriptural in its spirit — mis- 
sionary in its aim — and holy in its practice — a truly golden can- 
dlestick — a pleasant vine. If the daugiiter of Zion must be made 
a widow, and sit desolate on the ground, grant her latest cry may 
be that of her once suffering, now exalted Head, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do." I remain, dear Sir, 
yours, &c. 

St. Peter's, Dundee, July 6, 1842. 


" He shall feed his flock like a shepherd ; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, 
and carry ilmn in his bosom." — Isaiah xl. 11. 

Beloved Children — Jesus is the Good Shepherd. His arm 
was stretched out on the cross, and his bosom was pierced with 
the spear. That arm is able to gather you, and that bosom is 
open to receive you. I pray for you every day that you may be 
saved by Christ. He said to me, " Feed my lambs," and I daily 
return the words to him, " Lord, feed my lambs." In the bow- 
els of Jesus Christ I long after you all. I believe Christ has 
gathered some of you. But are no more to be gathered ? Are 
no more green brands to be plucked from the burning ? Will no 
more of you hide beneath the white robe of Jesus ? Oh, come ! 
for yet there is room. Lift up your hearts to God while I tell 
you something more of the Good Shepherd. 

I. Jesus has a Flock. 

" He shall feed his flock like a shepherd." Every shepherd 
must have a flock, and so has Christ. I once saw a flock in a 


valley near Jerusalem, and the shepherd went before them and 
called the sheej), and they knew his voice and followed him. 1 
said, this is the way Jesus leads his sheep. Oh that I may be one 
of the in ! 

1. Christ's Flock is a little Flock. — Hear what Jesus says, 
*' Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to 
give you the kingdom." Luke xii. 32. Pray to be among the 
little flock. Look at the world, eight hundred millions of men, 
women and children, of different countries, color, and language, 
all journeying to the Judgment Seat. Is this Christ's flock 1 Ah, 
no ! Five hundred millions never heard the sweet name of Jesus, 
and of the rest the most see no beauty in the Rose of Sharon. 
Christ's is a little flock. Look at this town. What crowds press 
along the streets on a market day. What a large flock is here. 
Is this the flock of Christ ? No. It is to be feared that most of 
these are not the brothers and sisters of Christ ; they do not bear 
his likeness ; they do not follow the Lamb now, and will not fol- 
low him in eternity. Look round the Sabbath Schools. What a 
number of young faces are there ! How many beaming eyes ! 
How many precious souls ! Is this the flock of Christ ? No, no. 
The most of you have hard and stony hearts — the most of you love 
pleasure more than God — the most of you love sin, and lightly es- 
teem Christ. " What a pity it is that they do not a' come to Christ, 
for they would be sic happy," said one of yourselves. I could 
weep when I think how many of you will live lives of sin, and die 
deaths of horror, and spend an eternity in hell. Beloved children, 
pray that you may be like the one lily among many thorns — that 
you may be the few lambs in the midst of a world of wolves. 

2. Christ's Sheep are marked Sheep. — In almost every flock 
the sheep are all marked in order that the shepherd may know 
them. The mark is often made with tar on the woolly back of 
the sheep. Sometimes it is the first letter of the owner's name. 
The use of the mark is that they may not be lost when they wan- 
der among other sheep. So it is with the flock of Jesus. Every 
sheep of his has two marks. Oiie mark is made icith the blood 
of Jesus. Every sheep and lamb in Christ's flock was once 
guilty and defiled with sin, altogether become filthy. But every 
one of them has been drawn to the blood of Jesus, and washed 
there. They are all like sheep " come up from the washing." 
They can all say, " Unto him that loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in his own blood." Rev. i. 5. Have you this mark ? 
Look and see. You can never be in heaven unless you have it. 
pjvery one there has washed his robes and made them white in 
the blood of the Lamb. Rev. vii. 14. Another mark is made 
by the Holy Spirit. This is not a mark which you can see out- 
side, like the mark on the white wool of the sheep. It is deep, 
deep in the bosom, where the eye of man cannot look. It is a 
NEW HEART. Ezek. xxxri. 26. " A new heart also will I give 


you." This is the seal of the Holy Spirit, which he gives to all 
them that believe. With infinite power he puts forth his unseen 
hand, and silently changes the heart of all that are truly Christ's. 
Have you got the new heart? You never will go to heaven 
without it. •' If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none 
of His." Beloved childi-en, pray for these two marks of the 
sheep of Jesus — forgiveness through blood and a new heart. Oh, 
be in earnest to get them, and to get them now. Soon the Chief 
Shepherd will come, and set the sheep on his right hand, and the 
goats on his left. Where will you be in that day ? 

3. Chrisfs Sheep all jiock together. — Sheep love to go toge- 
ther. A sheep never goes with a wolf or with a dog, but always 
with the flock. Especially when a storm is coming down, they 
keep near one another. When the sky turns dark with clouds, 
and the first drops of a thunder-shower are coming on, the shep- 
herds say that you will see the sheep flocking down from the 
hills, and all meeting together in some sheltered valley. They 
love to keep together. So it is with the flock of Jesus. They 
do not love to go with the world, but always one with another. 
Christian loves Christian. They have the same peace, the same 
spirit, the same shepherd, the same fold on the hills of immor- 
tality. Especially in the dark and cloudy day, such as our day 
is likely to be, the sheep of Christ are driven together, to weep 
together. They love to pray together, to sing praise together, to 
hide in Christ together. 

" Little children, love one another." Make companions of those 
that fear God. Flee from all others. Who can take fire into 
their bosom and not be burned ? I remember of one little boy 
who was indeed a lamb of Christ's fold. He could not bear a lie ; 
and whenever he found any of his companions telling a falsehood, 
he left their company altogether. There was one boy with whom 
he was very intimate. This boy one day began to boast of some- 
thing he had done, which boast our little Christian saw at once to 
be a lie. Upon this, he told him that he must never again come 
to his house, and that he would have nothing more to do with him 
till he was a better boy. His mother asked him how he would 
know when he was a better boy ? He said that he would soon 
see some marks which would show him that he was better. "And 
what marks will you know it by ?" " I think," said he, " the big- 
gest mark will be that he loves God." 

II. What Jesus does foe his Flock. 

1. He died for them. — "lam the good shepherd; the good 
shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." This is the chief beauty 
in Christ. The wounds that marred his fair body make him alto- 
gether lovely in a needy sinner's eye. All that are now and ever 
shall be the sheep of Christ, were once condemned to die. The 
wrath of God abode upon them. They were ready to drop into 


the burning lake. Jesus had compassion upon them, left his Fa- 
ther's bosom, emptied himself, became a worm and no man, and 
died under the sins of many. " While we were yet sinners, 
Christ died for us." This is the grace of the Lord Jesus. Every 
one in the Hock can say, "He loved me, and gave himself for me." 

2. He seeks and finds them. — We would never seek Christ if 
he did not seek us first. We would never find Christ if he did 
not find us. " The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that 
which was lost." I once asked a shepherd, " How do you find 
sheep that are lost in the snow ?" " Oh," he said, " we go down 
into the deep ravines, where the sheep go in the storms ; there we 
find the sheep huddled together beneath the snow," " And are 
they able to come out when you take away the snow ?" " Oh, 
no ; if they had to take a single step to save their lives they could 
not do it. So we just go in and carry them out." Ah ! this is 
the very way Jesus saves lost sheep. He finds us frozen and 
dead in the deep pit of sin. If we had to take a single step to 
save our souls, we could not do it. But he reaches down his arm 
and carries us out. This, he does for every sheep he saves. 
Glory, glory, glory be to Jesus, the shepherd of our souls : Oh, 
children, let Jesus gather you. Feel your helpless condition, and 
look up and say, Lord help me. 

3. He feeds them. — " By me if any man enter in he shall be 
saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture." If Jesus has 
saved you he will feed you. He will feed your body. " I have 
been young, and now am old, yet never saw I the righteous for- 
saken, nor his seed begging bread." 

The birds without barn or storehouse are fed, 
From them let us learn to trust for our bread ; 
His saints what is fitting shall ne"er be denied, 
So long as 'tis written — the Lord will provide. 

He will feed your soul. He that feeds the little flower in the 
cleft of the craggy precipice, where no hand of man can reach it, 
will feed your soul with silent drops of heavenly dew. I shall 
never forget the story of a little girl in Belfast in Ireland. She 
was at a Sabbath School, and gained a Bible as a prize for her 
good conduct. It became to her a treasure indeed. She was fed 
out of it. Her parents were wicked. She often read to them, 
but they became worse and worse. This broke Eliza's heart. 
She took to her bed, and never rose again. She desired to see 
her teacher. When he came he said, " You are not without a 
companion, my dear child," taking up her Bible. " No," she re- 
plied — 

" Precious Bible ! what a treasure 

Does the Word of God afford ; 
All I want for life or pleasure, 

Food and med'cine, shield and sword 
Let the world account me poor, 
Having this I ask no more." 


She had scarcely repeated the lines when she hung back her head 
and died. Beloved children, this is the way Jesus feeds his flock. 
He is a tender, constant, Almighty Shepherd. If you become 
his flock, he will feed you all the way to glory. 

III. Jesus cares for Lambs. 

" He shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his 
bosom." Every careful shepherd deals gently with the lambs of 
the flock. When the flocks are travelling, the lambs are not able 
to go far, they often grow weary and lie down. Now, a kind 
shepherd stoops down and puts his gentle arm beneath them, and 
lays them in his bosom. Such a shepherd is the Lord Jesus, and 
saved children are his lambs. He gathers them with his arm, and 
carries them in his bosom. Many a guilty lamb he has gathered 
and carried to his Father's house. Some he has gathered out of 
this place whom you and I once knew well. 

Before he came into Jesus cared for lambs. Samuel 
was a very little child, no bigger than the least of you, when he 
was converted. He was girded with a linen ephod, and his 
mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him every year. 
One night as he slept in the Holy place, near where the ark of 
God was kept, he heard a voice cry, " Samuel !" He started up 
and ran to old Eli, whose eyes were dim, and said, " Here am I, 
for thou calledst me." And Eli said, " I called not, lie down 
again." He went and lay down, but a second time the voice 
cried, " Samuel !" He rose and went to Eli, saying, " Here am I, 
for thou didst call me." And Eli said, " I called not my son, lie 
down again." A third time the holy voice cried, " Samuel !" 
And he arose and went to Eli with the same words ; then Eli per- 
ceived that the Lord had called the child, therefore Eli said, "Go, 
lie down, and it shall be if he call thee thou shalt say, Speak, 
Lord, for thy servant heareth." So he went and lay down. A 
fourth time (how often Christ will call on little children !) the voice 
cried, " Samuel, Samuel !" Then Samuel answered, " Speak, 
Lord, for thy servant heareth !" Thus did Jesus gather this lamb 
with his arm and carried him in his bosom. For " Samuel grew, 
and the Lord was with him ; and the Lord revealed himself to 
Samuel in Shiloh." 1 Sam. iii. 

Littie children, of whom I travail in birth till Christ be formed 
in you, pray that the same Lord would reveal himself to you. 
Some people say, you are too young to be converted and saved. 
But Samuel was not too young. Christ can open the eyes of a 
child as easily as of an old man. Yea, youth is the best time to 
be saved in. You are not too young to die, not too young to be 
judged, and therefore not too young to be brought to Christ. Do 
not be contented to hear about Christ from your teachers ; pray 
that he would reveal himself to you. God grant there may be 
many little Samuels amongst you. 


Jesus cares for lambs still. The late Duke ol Hamilton had 
two sons. Tiie eldest fell into consumption, when a boy, which 
ended in his death. Two ministers went to see him at the family 
seat, near Glasgow, where he lay. After prayer, the youth took 
his Bible frr)m under his pillow, and turned up to 2 Tim. iv. 7, 
"I have fourrht a good fight, I have finished my course, I have 
kept the faith; henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of 
righteousness ;" and added, " This, sirs, is all my comfort !" 
When his death approached, he called his younger brother to his 
bed, and spoke to him with great aflfection. He ended with these 
remarkable words, " And now, Douglas, in a little time you will 
be a Duke, but I shall he a King.'* 

Let me tell you a word of another gentle lamb, whom Jesus 
gathered, and whom I saw on her way from grace to glory. 
She was early brought to Christ, and early taken to be with him 
where he is. She told her companions that she generally fell 
asleep on these words, " His left hand is under my head, and his 
right hand doth embrace me ;" and sometimes on these, " Under- 
neath are the everlasting arms." She said, she did not know 
how it was, but somehow she felt that Christ was always near 
her. Another time she said, " I think it's the best way to make 
myself as loathsome as I can before him. and then to look to Je- 
sus." When seized with her last illness, and told that the doctors 
thought she would not live long, she looked quite composed, and 
said, •' I am very happy at that." She said she could not love 
Jesus enough here, that she would like to be with him, and then 
she would love him as she ought. To her tender watchful rela- 
tive she said, " I wonder at your often looking so grave. I'm sur- 
prised at it, for I think I am the happiest person in the house. I have 
every temporal comfort, and then I am going to Jesus." After a 
companion had been with her, she said, "Margaret quite entered 
into my happiness ; she did not look grave but smiled ; that 
showed how much she loves me." When sitting one evening, her 
head resting on a pillow, she was asked, " Is there anything the 
matter, my darling ?" "Oh," she said, "I am only weak. 1 am 
quite iiapj)y. Jesus has said. ' Thou art mine.' " Another day, 
when near her last, one said to her, " Have you been praying 
much to-day 1" "Yes," she replied, "and I have been trying to 
praise too." " And what have you been praising for ?" " I praise 
God," she said, " for all the comforts I have. I praise him for 
many kind friends, you know he is the foundation of all ; and I 
praise him for taking a simier to glory." 

These are a few of the many golden sayings of this lamb of 
Christ, now, I trust, safe in the fold above. Would you wish to 
be gathered thus ? Go now to some lonely place — kneel down, 
and call upon the Lord Jesus. Do not leave your knees until you 
find him. Pray to be gathered with his arm, and carried in liis 


bosom. Take hold of the hem of his garment, and say — " I must 
not — I dare not — I will not let thee go except thou bless me." 

O seek him in earnest, and seek him in time, 

For they that seek early shall find ; 
While they that neglect him are hardened in crime, 
And never can come to this pure blessed clime — 

They perish in anguish of mind. 



•'Thy Word is very pure ; therefore thy servant loveth it." 

My dear Flock, — The approach of another year stirs up 
within me new desires for your salvation, and for the growth of 
those of you who are saved. " God is my record how greatly I 
long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ." What the 
coming year is to bring forth, who can tell ? There is plainly a 
weight lying on the spirits of all good men, and a looking for some 
strange work of judgment coming upon this land. There is need 
now to ask that solemn question — " If in the land of peace 
wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do 
in the swelling of Jordan ?" 

Those believers will stand firmest who have no dependence 
upon self or upon creatures, but upon Jehovah our Righteousness. 
We must be driven more to our Bibles, and to the mercy-seat, if 
we are to stand in the evil day. Then we shall be able to say like 
David — " The proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I 
not declined from thy law." " Princes have persecuted me with- 
out a cause, but my heart standeth in awe of thy Word." 

It has long been in my mind to prepare a scheme of Scripture 
reading, in which as many as were made willing by God might 
agree, so that the whole Bible might be read once by you in the 
year, and all might be feeding in the same portion of the green 
pasture at the same time. 

I am quite aware that such a plan is accompanied with many 


1. Formality. — We are such weak creatures that any regu- 
larly returning duty is apt to degenerate into a lifeless form. The 
tendency of reading the Word by a fixed rule may, in some 
minds, be to create this skeleton religion. This is to be the pecu- 
liar sin of the last days — " Having the form of godliness, but de- 
nying the power thereof." Guard against this. Let the calendar 
perish rather than this rust eat up your souls. 

2. Self-righteousness. — Some, when they have devoted their 


set time to reading the Word, and accomplished their pre- 
scribed portion, may be tempted to look at themselves with self- 
complacency. Many, I am persuaded, are living without any 
Divine Work on their soul — unpardoned, and unsanctified, and 
ready to perish — who spend their appointed times in secret and 
family devotion. This is going to hell with a lie in the right 

3. Careless reading. — Few tremble at the Word of God. Few, 
in reading it, hear the voice of Jehovah, which is full of majesty. 
Some, by having so large a portion, may be tempted to w^eary of 
it, as Israel did of the daily manna, saying — " Our soul loatheth 
this light bread ;" and to read it in a slight and careless manner. 
This would be fearfully provoking to God. Take heed lest that 
word be true of you — " Ye said, also. Behold, what a weariness 
is it ! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

4. A yoke too heavy to hear. — Some may engage in reading 
with alacrity for a time, and afterwards feel it a burden grievous 
to be borne. They may find conscience dragging them through 
the appointed task without any relish of the heavenly food. If 
this be the case with any, throw aside the fetter and feed at 
liberty in the sweet garden of God. My desire is not to cast a 
snare upon you, but to be a helper of your joy. 

If there be so many dangers, why propose such a scheme at 
all? To this I answer, that the best things are accompanied with 
danger, as the fairest flowers are often gathered in the clefts of 
some dangerous precipice. Let us weigh 


\. The whole Bible loill he read through in an orderly manner 
in the course of a year. — The Old Testament once, the New Tes- 
tament and Psalms twice. I fear many of you never read the 
whole Bible; and yet it is all equally divine. "All Scripture is 
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for re- 
proof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man 
of God may he perfect." If we pass over some parts of Scrip- 
ture, we shall be incomplete Christians. 

2. Time will not be wasted in choosing what portions to read. — 
Often believers are at a loss to determine towards which part of 
the mountains of spices they should bend their steps. Here the 
question will be solved at once in a very simple manner. 

3. Parents xcill have a regular subject upon which to examine 
their children and servants. — It is much to be desired that family 
worship were made more instructive than it generally is. The 
mere reading of the chapter is often too like water spilt on the 
ground. Let it be read by every member of the family before- 
hand, and then the meaning and application drawn out by simple 
question and answer. The calendar will be helptul in this. 


Friends, also, when they meet, will have a subject for profitable 
conversation in the portions read that day. The meaning of dif- 
ficult passages may be inquired from the more judicious and 
ripe Christians, and the fragrance of simpler Scriptures spread 

4. The pastor will know in what part of the pasture the flock 
are feeding. — He will thus be enabled to speak more suitably to 
them on the Sabbath; and both pastor and elders will be able to 
drop a word of light and comfort in visiting from house to house, 
which will be more readily responded to. 

5. The sweet bond of Chjnstian love and unity will he strength- 
ened. — We shall be often led to think of those dear brothers and 
sisters in the Lord, here and elsewhere, who agree to join with us 
in reading these portions. We shall oftener be led to agree on 
earth, touching something we shall ask of God. We shall pray 
over the same promises, mourn over the same confessions, praise 
God in the same songs, and be nourished by the same words of 
eternal life. 



1. The centre column contains the day of the month. The two 
first columns contain the chapter to be read in the family. The 
two last columns contain the portions to be read in secret. 

2. The head of the family should previously read over the 
chapter for family worship, and mark two or three of the most 
prominent verses, upon which he may dwell, asking a few simple 

3. Frequently the chapter named in the calendar for family read- 
ing might be read more suitably in secret ; in which case the head 
of the family should intimate that it be read in private, and the 
chapter for secret reading may be used in the family 

4. The metrical version of the Psalms should be read or sung 
through at least once in the year. It is truly an admirable trans- 
lation from the Hebrew, and is frequently more correct than the 
prose .version. If three verses be sung at each diet of family 
worship, the whole Psalms will be sung through in the year. 

5. Let the conversation at family meals often turn upon the 
chapter read and the psalm sung. Thus every meal will be a 
Sacrament, being sanctified by the Word and prayer. 

6. Let our secret reading prevent the dawning of the day. Let 
God's voice be the first we hear in the morning. Mark two or 
three of the richest verses, and pray over every line and word 
of them. Let the marks be neatly done, never so as to abuse a 
copy of the Bible. 

7. In meeting believers on the street or elsewhere, when an 


easy opportunity offers, recur to the chapters read that moriimg. 
This w ill be a blessed exchange for those idle words which waste 
the soul and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. In writing letters 
10 tliose at a distance, make use of the provision that day gath- 

8. Above all, use the Word as a lamp to your feet and a light 
to your path — your guide in perplexity — your armor in temptation 
— your food in times of faintness. Hear the constant cry of the 
great Intercessor, 

"sanctify TIIEM through thy truth: thy word 13 TRUTH." 
St. Petee'», Dundee, ZQth Bee. 1842. 

























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Within the vineyard's sunny bound 
An ample fig tree shelter found, 

Enjoying sun and showers — 
The boughs were graceful to the view, 
With spreading leaves of deep-green hue, 

And gaily blushing liowers. 

When round the vintage season came. 
This blooming fig was still the same. 

As promising and fair ; 
But though the leaves were broad and green, 
No precious fruit was to be seen. 

Because no fruit was there. 

" For three long years," the Master cried, 
" Fruit on this tree to find I've tried. 

But all in vain my toil ; 
Ungrateful tree ! the axe's blow 
Shall lay thy leafy honors low ; 

Why cumbers it the soil ?" 

" Ah ! let it stand just one year more," 
The dresser said, " till all my store 

Of rural arts I've shown ; 
About the massy roots I'll dig. 
And if it bear, we've gained the fig — 

If not, then cut it down." 

How many years hast thou, my heart, 
Acted the barren fig tree's part. 

Leafy, and fresh and fair, 
Enjoying heavenly dews of grace. 
And sunny smiles from God's own face — 

But where the fruit? ah ! where? 


How often must the Lord have prayed 
That still my day might be delayed, 

Till all due means were tried ; 
Afllictions, mercies, health, and pain, 
How long shall these be all in vain 

To teach this heart of pride ? 

Learn, O my soul, what God demands 
Is not a faith like barren sands. 

But fruit of heavenly hue ; 
By this we prove that Christ we know 
If in his holy steps we go — 

Faith works by love, if true. 

August 14, 1834. 


"the lord our righteousness." 

(The watchword of the Reformers.) 

I once was a stranger to grace and to God, 
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load ; 
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me. 

I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage, 
Isaiah's wild measure and John's simple page ; 
But e'en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu seem'd nothing to me. 

Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll, 
I wept when the waters went over his soul ; 
Yet thought not that my sins had nail'd to the tree 
Jehovah Tsidkenu — 'twas nothing to me. 

When free grace awoke me, by light from on high, 
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die ; 
No refuge, no safety in self could I see, — 
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be. 

My terrors all vanished before the sweet name ; 
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came 
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free, — 
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me. 

Jehovah Tsidkenu ! my treasure and boast, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu ! I ne'er can be lost ; 
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field, 
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield ! 


Even treading the valley, the shadov^r of death, 
This " watchword" shall rally my faltering breath ; 
For while from life's fever my God sets me free, 
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be. 
November 18, 1834. 


Dark was the night, the wind was high, 

The way by mortals never trod ; 
For God had made the channel dry, 

When faithful Moses stretched the rod. 

The raging waves on either hand 

Stood like a massy tott'ring wall, 
And on the heaven-defended band 

Refused to let the waters fall. 

With anxious footsteps, Israel trod 

The depths of that mysterious way ; 
Cheer'd by the pillar of their God, 

That shone for them with fav'ring ray. 

But when they reached the opposing shore 

As morning streak'd the eastern sky, 
They saw the billows hurry o'er 

The flower of Pharaoh's chivalry. 

Then awful gladness filled the mind 

Of Israel's mighty ransomed throng ; 
And while they gazed on all behind. 

Their wonder burst into a song. 

Thus thy redeem'd ones. Lord, on earth, 

While passing through this vale of weeping, 
Mix holy trembling with their mirth, 
- And anxious watching with their sleeping. 

'The night is dai-k, the storm is loud. 
The path no human strength can tread : 

Jesus, be thou the pillar-cloud. 

Heaven's light upon our path to shed. 

And oh ! when life's dark journey o'er, ^ 

And death's enshrouding valley past, 
We plant our foot on yonder shore. 

And tread yon golden strand at last,— 

358 SONGS OF zroN. 

Shall we not see with deep amaze, 
How grace hath led us safe aloog ; 

And whilst behind — before, we gaze, 
Triumphant burst into a song ! 

And even on earth, though sore bested. 
Fightings without, and fears within ; 

Sprinkled to-day from slavish dread. 
To-morrow captive led by sin. 

Yet would I lift my downcast 6yes 

On Thee, thou brilliant tower of fire — 

Thou dark cloud to mine enemies — 
That Hope may all my breast inspire. 

And thus the Lord, my strength, I'll praise, 

Though Satan and his legions rage ; 
And the sweet song of faith I'll raise, 
To cheer me on my pilgrimage. 
Edinburgh, 1835. 


^ Whatever Tvay I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw my- 
self in the midst of a vast ■wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and 
alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men slill more savage. I was five hun- 
dred miles from the nearest European settlement. At this moment, painful as my 
reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irre- 
sistiblj' caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances 
the mind will sometimes derive consolation ; for though the whole plant was not 
larger than the top of one of my fingers, 1 could not contemplate the delicate con- 
formation of its roots, leaves, and capsule, without admiration. Can that Being, 
thought I, who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of 
the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern 
upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image ? Surely 
not. I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forward, 
assured that relief was at hand, and 1 was not disappointed." — Pakk's Tkavels.